Do the words “back to school” bring jumps for joy or moans and groans in your house? Back to school can be fun for some and not so fun for others.
Want to be the hero of your house? Prepare and pack fun and fabulous foods for your kids to enjoy as the head out the door. The key here is to tell them they taste great and not healthy … That’s the best buy-in for most families.
These five foods will taste great, give the kiddos lots of energy and help them do well in school.
1) Happy face sandwich for breakfast: Start the day off on the right foot with an egg sandwich on a 100 percent whole grain sandwich thin. Toast the sandwich thin and use black olives or cucumbers for the eyes, a wedge of low fat cheese for the nose, and a green pepper for the smile. The egg yolk is high in a chemical called choline. Research has shown that choline improves mental alertness and leads to higher test scores.
2) Whole grains and hummus: Three to four 100 percent whole grain crackers with 2 tablespoons of hummus with 100 percent whole grain crackers, breads and cereals improve blood flow to the brain, which will improve memory. The hummus is made of garbanzo beans, which are high in dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates for long lasting energy all day long. This is also a budget friendly snack! People are always looking for a way to feed their kids on a budget and making your own hummus is super cheap and takes less than 10 minutes to make at home. Just put the beans in a blender with spices and whirl.
3) Yogurt and fresh berries: 1/2 cup non fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup fresh blueberries. The yogurt is a great source of calcium for bones and teeth and improves concentration throughout the day. The berries are a great source of antioxidants that improve blood flow to the brain. This can help the brain think more clearly. Animal studies have shown that blueberries improve the ability to learn.
4) Sunflower seeds: These crunchy snacks are a good source of vitamin E and help improve brain power throughout the day. They also offer some protein and dietary fiber to keep you going longer without being hungry. And sunflower seeds are okay for schools that are “nut free” to reduce the possibility of allergic reactions for kids with food allergies.
5) Apples: An apple a day really does make for a healthier day! Apples are high in a chemical called quercetin, that reduces inflammation in the brain and helps kids focus and stay alert. Make sure to wash the apple and keep the skin on because this is where most of the quercetin is found.
These foods will help your kids perform their best at school, and you will be a superhero at home. What could be better than that?
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator, registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a Diabetes Self-Management Training Program at Dunlap Community Hospital, Orrville, Ohio. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.