Back to school……the perfect time to set the tone for healthy eating

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Whether your kids will be learning at home or at school, they will need to eat and they will need to eat healthy.  And in today’s world, parents are busier than ever, with less time to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals. By offering children a variety of easy to prepare healthy foods, they can make themselves at home, parents will establish a lifestyle of everlasting healthy eating.  As parents, it’s our job to shape our children’s food preferences by offering them obtainable healthy foods regularly at their reach.  After all, children learn eating habits through watching their parents.  

Especially during these times of a global pandemic, it’s even more important to eat the majority of our meals from home.  Knowing that meals are prepared with whole, fresh ingredients, you can rest assured that you are protecting you and your family’s immune system, which will make you less susceptible to illnesses and viruses, particularly COVID -19. As a Registered Dietitian and a mother of three, my mission is to find quick, easy, healthy meals that families will enjoy. It starts by planning ahead and having staples available for your kids at all times. 

Teach your kids how to cook and prepare fortifying foods

 It all starts in the home.  With the rise of childhood obesity, it’s important that we help our kids learn how to eat healthy so it becomes a habit for the rest of their lives. It’s always a good idea to let your children assist you in the kitchen so they can learn how to cook healthy meals. I suggest you start by walking them through simple, nourishing menus that intrigue them. Make this an adventure and a time to delve into fresh ingredients. Steer them towards these foods and away from packaged and junk foods that don’t provide good nutrition.  In time, they will develop cooking skills to last them a lifetime and be set on a path toward healthy eating.   

Stock your kitchen with healthy food options

 It will be your job to help them get started and to also have all the staples they will need.  When deciding on food items, think about your kids’ favorite tastes and make a list of them including sources of lean proteins, a selection of smart, wholesome carbs, and healthy fats. Consider the recipes below to get you started. 

Easy-Peasy Personal Flatbread Pizzas

Making personal pizzas is a great way to allow everyone to get what they want, and kids love making and eating them!

INGREDIENTS PER PIZZA

  • For each pizza crust: ( I use 1 Extreme Wellness High Fiber Carb Lean Tortilla or Mission Low Carb Balance Tortilla)
  • 1/4 cup of Ragu Pizza Sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Low-Moisture Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 Serving of Hormel Turkey Pepperoni 70% less fat (~8)
  • 1 Tsp of Italian Seasoning
  • Or Various other toppings of your choice, such as fresh basil, oregano and red onions, tomatoes, peppers

DIRECTIONS

Time: 10-12 minutes

  • Preheat oven to 475
  • Spoon pizza sauce over the tortilla
  • Sprinkle with Mozzarella Cheese
  • add turkey pepperoni
  • then basil, red onions, Italian seasoning or any other vegetables
  • Bake for 8-10 on the bottom rack

 
Butter Finger Bar Smoothie

What I like about this smoothie recipe is that it tastes just like a Butter Finger candy bar, but it’s super nutritious, yet still very tasty. This recipe makes a great breakfast or a delicious afternoon snack.    If your child is not big enough to make it on his or her own, they can help by getting out ingredients, measuring, and pouring and by cleaning up the mess.

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 16 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup of frozen bananas
  • 1 tbsp of milled flaxseeds
  • ¼ cup of uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of peanut butter
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • pinch of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender, and pulse to desired consistency.
  2. Pour and enjoy!

Chocolate Hummus

The kiddos will love this recipe.  It’s a perfect after school snack that goes well with strawberries and pretzels.  Plus it meets many dietary needs: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free plant-based, dairy-free, naturally sweet, and includes no refined sugars. It’s filled with fiber and protein and kids won’t even know how healthy it is.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Can of Chickpeas
  • T Tbsp of Tahini
  • 3 Tbsp of Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tbsp of 100% Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tbsp of Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

DIRECTIONS:

  • Rinse and Drain Chickpeas
  • Blend all ingredients with an emergent blender or in a regular blender
  • Serve with strawberries and pretzels

Baked Sweet Potato with Plain Greek Yogurt and Hemp Seeds

This is very simple to make with just 3 powerful healthy ingredients: small sweet potato, plain Greek yogurt and hemp seeds

Directions:

Microwave sweet potato 3-5 minutes

Cut sweet potato in half and spread plain Greek yogurt over it and top with hempseeds.

You are making an investment for you and your children by leading the way of healthy eating. And, yes, they will appreciate it and will thank you later when they become healthy adults. Remember, healthy eating is a lifestyle you want to pass on to your children. While we are on this journey, use this time to implement the change you want for yourself and pass it on to your children. Implementing small changes little by little ends in HUGE healthy permanent changes for you and your family.

In the comments, tell us how you have made eating at home fun and healthier for you and your family.

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Patty Martin

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Have you found the right weight loss solution for you, yet? You can! Together, we’ll resolve your past weight loss struggles, transform your energy and health and you will look and feel your best. I truly enjoy helping my clients to reach her or his most desired goals. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I can help you become all you want to be and more.


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