Healthy Choices for a New School Year!

By Whitney Randall, RD

Back to school does not have to mean pizza, chips, and cookies.  Try being a role model this school year and show your friends and family what to eat to build a strong and healthy body. 

Does that mean you have to eat the same old boring thing everyday?  No, of course not!  You can eat healthy and nutritious foods while still enjoying and trying new dishes. 

Make a goal this year to make half of your plate fruit and vegetables.   At first this may seem hard but once you realize how many fruits and vegetables there are and how different each ones taste; you won’t want to stop trying all of them! 

An easy way to add vegetables to your lunch is to pack some fresh snap peas, carrots, bell peppers, and dip them in hummus.  Haven’t heard of hummus?  It is a delicious creamy blend of garbanzo beans and spices that you can find at any local grocery store.  

Or how about packing a chicken stir-fry or tofu stir-fry for lunch?  Try helping your family in the kitchen the night before to prepare a savory stir -fry with carrots, bell peppers, onions, broccoli, and green beans, and be sure to save the leftovers for your lunch.  Taking a healthy school lunch does not have to be complicated but you may have to plan ahead. 

Now it is time to mix it up with fruit!  It is easy to grab an apple or banana on the way out the door but there are so many delicious ways to add fruit to your lunch.  Have you ever tried adding mandarin orange slices, strawberries, or dried cranberries to your salad?  

Another great way to add fruit to your lunch is to add a twist to the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Next time you are running late for school and decide to just throw together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, try adding banana slices.  I promise you will love it!