With back to school in full swing, parents are looking for ways to set their kids up for a healthy school year. However, there are a few things that stand in the way when it comes to making back to school meals healthy.
Of course when it comes to preparing healthy back to school meals for your kid's, none of us want or have time to spend endless hours in the kitchen. Preparing healthy food doesn't have to be time consuming. Many of my favorite dishes are no-cook and take just minutes to prepare and assembly. Also, try not to think of cooking as a chore or something you have to do--instead think of it as something that creates long-term benefits, provides nourishment and brings the family together.
Healthy food has to taste good and look good for your kid's to be interested.
But, remember that no one is born craving junk food. As babies we started on breast milk or formula, then we slowly eased into pureed baby foods and once we got this process down, we started to introduce new foods and textures from the main food groups. Of course there were probably some foods we didn't care for at first, but the more we were introduced to those foods, the more we actually learned to like them. Did you know that a child may need to try a certain food 12 times before learning to like it?
After all, we were all born craving real, wholesome foods and ingredients. We weren't born craving junk food or sugary beverages.
The good news is that kid's taste buds can change just as fast as their behaviors. Try new ways to prepare healthy foods and re-introduce it again and again. Be the role model and make healthy food exciting.
Now we know that it can be confusing to know what to buy considering there are over 40,000 items in the supermarket to choose from and 40% of these items aren’t real food. However, you can weed these unhealthy non-food items out by reading the ingredient list. Ingredients will be the number one indicator of quality. If it has a long ingredient list or you can’t pronounce most items, put it back. Luckily, we have so many healthier versions of our favorite items that actually taste great that you should never waste it on something that is so not worth it.
Plus, the most flavorful items will be superfoods or nutrient dense foods found in the center of this Food Target. Plus, you are less likely to overeat super nutritious food since these foods keep you feeling nourished and satisfied and therefore you don’t have to worry about counting calories or anything else for that matter. Yay!
With all these things in mind, I am going to show you just how to make healthy back to school dishes that are quick, tasty, and easy to incorporate. Let's start with breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack!
When it comes to breakfast, it needs to be easy and quick but also have enough substance to keep your kids satisfied throughout the morning.
Oatmeal On The Run is one of my favorite things to introduce to kids. It makes non-oatmeal eaters love oatmeal. And there is no cooking involved. Just combine all ingredients and store in the refrigerator overnight.
Combine all ingredients and let soak in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. Grab and go in the morning for a healthy and delicious breakfast.
Watch recipe video here: Oatmeal On The Run
Black Bean Mango Salad is a delicious lunch for the whole family!
Of course we know foods that do not have a nutrition label will be the healthiest—fresh fruits, lean meats, bulk nuts, seeds, etc. Plus, these items will usually be more affordable. Think of an apple versus apple juice or apple flavored granola bar.
Mix olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat with dressing. Refrigerated 1 hour before serving. Serve as a salad or dip with organic blue corn tortilla chips.
Saving the best for last. This Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie makes a delicious back to school afternoon snack that your kids are sure to love. Plus, it’s packed with super healthy superfoods your kids need for back to school.
Add all ingredients to a blender except cacao nibs. Blend until smooth. Add in cacao and blend to mix, about 5 seconds. *Thin with water if needed. If using frozen bananas, leave out ice.
Watch recipe video here: Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie