Planning for a Healthy New School Year

It’s hard to believe as it feels as though summer just started, but we are just around the corner from a new school year .Every year as parents we start out with great hope that this school year will be different than the rest. We will be more involved with their homework, help them to get better grades, and allow for more time in the morning so nobody has to rush. These are like New Year’s resolutions that tend to diminish within the first few weeks of school. Why not make this year different? Rather than overpromising and under delivering, why not try to focus on one aspect of making this school year different? You could work hard at making this a healthier school year for your kids and that’s not even hard to do but yet so very beneficial.
Set Them Up for Success
There are a few simple ways to ensure that your kids don’t fall into their old bad habits. Did you run out of time to make healthy and delicious lunches? Did this often result in your kids buying lunch at school? If you haven’t checked out the school cafeteria lately then you will be alarmed to know that this is a pitfall of bad eating and poor habits waiting to be developed. Resist the temptation to just throw money at them and throw their proper nutrition out the window. This however will mean that you need to allow yourself plenty of time for shopping and preparation but healthy lunches can be yours.
Rather than loading up on chips and crackers, try some new ideas out. Load them up with fresh fruits and veggies—try offering fun little dipping sauces like yogurt or hummus to bump it up a bit. Not only will this offer more nutrition, but the kids will love to dip and eat these treats up. Offer up healthy snacks like raisins, dried fruit, cheese cubes, whole grain crackers, and air popped popcorn as nice alternatives to the chips that you used to throw in their lunch bag every day. With a bit of preparation you can even make a healthier main meal as well. Try a whole grain pita with hummus, feta, fresh cucumber, tomato, and red pepper, topped off with turkey. Make them a pizza to take with a whole grain English muffin, sauce, mozzarella, and all the veggies they can stack on there.
Preparation and Creativity Go A Long Way
Rather than give up at the first signs of difficulty, stick with it. To make this a healthier school year for your kids, that needs that you need to put in more time and preparation into the process. Let them provide some input as there may just be some healthy snacks that they actually like to take the guesswork out of things for you. Get creative and let them try a new fruit in their lunch box this week. Find a new and healthier twist on an old favorite like whole grain pretzels or pop chips. This does take more from you as a parent but you can even prepare ahead of time to make it easier. So long as you don’t wait until the last minute, healthy lunches can be yours for the making. If they must buy then encourage the salad bar or grilled chicken sandwiches. However you can be the master of a healthier school year starting with a well-planned lunch to make them feel loved and healthier throughout the day. 

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