Getting kids to eat healthier when school starts

- It's a well known fact that kids who eat a well-balanced breakfast perform better in the class room.

Registered Dietitian Tony Stephan joined us on The Nine to give us some ideas of what to feed the kids in those early morning hours. You can hear from him in the video player above, or continue reading below.

Eating whole grains, protein, and fresh fruit are much better options. Fiber from fruits and whole grains is very important as it will keep your kids full and focused in the class room. Some Brain-Power Breakfast examples include:

  • Greek yogurt with low sugar granola and fresh fruit
  • Cage free eggs on whole grain toast and fresh fruit
  • Power smoothies with greek yogurt, almond milk, kale (they won't taste it!), and strawberries
  • Whole grain toast with natural nut butter and banana slices

Many parents assume that by packing a lunch it is automatically healthier than school provided lunches. An interesting study from The College of Medicine at Baylor University showed that packed lunches were actually less nutrient dense compared to school lunches!

The study showed that home-made lunches had less produce, protein, and whole grains compared to the school lunches.

So, how can you make an A+ school lunch?

Always start with protein, whole grains, and fresh produce and fruits!

  • Swap breads for wraps for lower carbs and more fiber. Always include fresh fruit or yogurt as a side snack compared to crackers or cookies. Some examples are:
  • Hummus and veggie whole grain wrap with greek yogurt
  • Turkey, avocado, and spinach wrap with low fat milk and fresh fruit
  • Whole grain crackers, cheese slices, and minimally processed turkey or chicken breast and fresh fruit
  • Quinoa and rice pasta salad with tuna, cheese, and diced peppers
  • Apple slices with natural peanut butter and greek yogurt

Make these simple swaps with your kids nutrition this school year and their performance inside and outside of the class room will benefit.

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