Back to School, Back to Reality!!

30 08 2013

Back to school means back to reality for every teacher, child and parent. The days become packed with bus schedules, homework, and after school sports. As a parent of two active children, I know this week has thrown me for a loop. I have had to change my morning routine to accommodate the needs of my new “middle-schooler”, but that’s my job- I’m the mom.

Of course my job as “the mom” includes planning healthy meals for my family. My kids know their routine. They walk sleepy-eyed into the kitchen each morning and create

Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

their breakfast of choice (usually whole grain cereal, skim milk and juice). My daughter and I go over the school menu each month to choose what days she will “bring or buy” her lunch. This way I know when to prepare her lunch the night before. They come home from school and have a snack before mom and dad get home. Depending on work and evening events, my husband and I figure out some way to take turns getting a healthy meal on the table. In amongst all of this, he and I pack our own lunches and snacks for our work day and squeeze in some exercise for ourselves and with our children.

Sounds like a big job, but being organized and planning ahead can take the pressure off having to make spontaneous and often unhealthy decisions. Just like you plan your day for your children, plan your day for yourself. Take time each weekend to jot down your plans for the week. Check everyone’s schedules and don’t forget about your own! If mornings are tight, try a grab and go breakfast like a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat, or a granola bar (not the kind that are candy bars in disguise!) and a glass of milk. Pack your lunch the night before. Relying on fast food is unhealthy and expensive. Think simple- lean protein on a whole grain sandwich round, a piece of fruit, raw veggies with low fat ranch and water. Don’t forget to pack a snack for that mid afternoon slump- an apple and some string cheese can do the trick. Then always plan ahead for a family dinner if you can. If we can’t eat together, we eat in shifts and join each other in the dining room for conversation as everyone comes home. This is a time for children to learn healthy eating habits as well as good social skills.

So start by planning to pack some healthy lunches and snacks in the upcoming week! Here are 2 fresh, new ideas:

Chicken Salad
1 small apple, chopped
1/2c grapes, sliced in half
1c + torn romaine lettuce
2oz cubed or shredded cooked chicken breast
1 Tbsp light mayonnaise or light creamy Cesar dressing

Combine all ingredients and enjoy…can be eaten alone or put in a wrap or pita pocket.
Nutrition Facts: 272 calories, 39g carb, 6g fat, 20g pro, 180mg sodium

Greek Wrap

1 whole grain wrap (tested with a Best Life Flat Out Light wrap)
4 Tbsp roasted garlic hummus (tested with Cedar’s which is lower in sodium)
2 leaves of romaine lettuce or ½-1c baby spinach leaves
1/4c each sliced fresh onion, red bell pepper and diced cucumber or zucchini
2 Tbsp crumbled, reduced fat feta cheese

Spread hummus on wrap. Top with lettuce/spinach. Add vegetables and feta. Roll wrap up like a burrito. Wrap in foil to take in a cold lunch cooler.
Nutrition Facts: 269 calories, 33g carb, 11g fat, 17g pro, 600mg sodium




One response

30 08 2013
Cindy Gay

You do great!

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