We’re in the groove of the school year now, and one thing that’s always on the menu - lunches and snacks for your kids! Since kids are growing, they need lots of healthy, nutritious food. Read along for some tips to keep them healthy and happy while eating well!
After school snacks can turn into full meals that ruin dinners! They’re still important because it’s often a long time from school lunch until dinner, but it’s important to not go overboard. Keep these snacks small and nutritious, and keep easy-to-grab options on the counter or in the fridge.
String cheese, cereal packs, beef jerky, and pieces of fruit are great options. It’s ideal to get a combination of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to keep your kids full until dinner.
Eating healthy is the goal, but treats have a place in a nutritious diet. If your child knows that they’ll receive a small treat in their lunch, they’re less likely to ditch their packed lunch for other unhealthy options. Making room for treats also teaches balanced eating in everyday life, and it’s important to establish this at a young age.
Figure out what would make your child happy to see in their lunch and include it daily! Keep the rest of the options healthy and balanced to keep their energy up.
Get your kids involved in their meals! Whether it’s breakfast options, items for their lunchbox, after school snacks, or a side dish option for dinner, let them choose the healthy options. This is a great way to establish responsibility and decision making early on!
When they’re involved in the process, they’re more likely to choose things they enjoy and will eat. Of course, do your best to keep things healthy! Give them a few choices from a predetermined category. But maybe your child will eat roasted carrots over brussels sprouts, or they might prefer a yogurt cup to a piece of fruit after school. Involving them will ensure that the food is eaten and enjoyed!
Eating on a schedule is a good way to keep blood sugar and energy balanced. Of course, some flexibility in life is key, but children tend to thrive on a schedule.
Keep breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks around the same time each day. Work treats and “fun” foods into the mix as well, since it’s fun for them to look forward to these as well.
These days, there are so many convenient, nutritious options like chopped apples, protein snack packs, and cut up cheese options, just to name a few.
To save your time and make eating more fun, look into some of these options. Ask your kid to choose a few items from the store! If you’re more of a DIY person, look to these convenient options as ideas and create them yourself. Purchase some fun cookie cutters to cut sandwiches in unique animal shapes, buy a Bento box for lunch for a more exciting way to eat, or simply cut up fruits and veggies into easily accessible bites.
Eating healthy with kids doesn’t have to be a challenge! Involve them in the process, allow them to have treats, and give them the option of choices - it will make the process much easier.
Staying healthy in the summer is typically easier than any other time of year. Between family and friend activities, vacations, and sporting events, we’re on the go more. Additionally, produce is more readily available, and it’s often too hot to eat big, heavy meals.
It’s a perfect time to embrace wellness in our diets and stay healthy. This way, we don’t miss any of the fun and excitement of this time of year! Read along for some best tips for optimal, healthy eating in the summer.
Eating seasonally is a great way to save money and load up on nutritional value. Yes, you can find watermelon in some other seasons, but it’s more expensive and not nearly as tasty! Between tomatoes, watermelon, mangos, and all the fresh berries, summer is a time for all our favorite produce.
These fruits and vegetables are also loaded with water content, so they’ll help you stay hydrated and feeling light.
Think produce first! When you go to make a plate or plan a meal, fill your plate (or recipe) with produce first. Ideally, half of your plate should be fruits and/or veggies. You can also sneak fruit and veggie purees into casseroles, popsicles, and smoothies! From here, add your carbohydrate and protein sources to make up the rest of your meal.
Protein is always a key component to any healthy diet. It keeps you full, supports your muscles and bones, and helps to stabilize blood sugar. When the weather is nice, grilling is a great, fun option to get your protein. Here are some best tips for successful grilling.
Select healthy meats and spice them up with unique seasonings, marinades, and dipping sauces. If meat isn’t your thing, there are plenty of fibrous bean and grain salad recipes that will keep you healthy and satiated. Here are a few options to get you started.
In the hot summer months, we’re typically running around more and certainly spending more time outdoors. Because of this, we need more hydration, water, and electrolytes. Focus on foods that provide this and keep you feeling good. Watermelon is a great option, along with coconut water for balanced electrolytes.
It’s easy to feel sluggish and rundown in the summer, and you can avoid this with diet and lifestyle choices. Make choices that keep you feeling light, healthy, and satisfied. It’s a great time of year for those lightened up recipes, as well as an abundance of colorful fruits and veggies. Indulge in nature’s seasonal offerings and stay healthy with seasonal offerings!
Health begins with healthy food! Make things easier on yourself by purchasing good, quality food and leaving the less ideal treats for special occasions or after work hours. When you make “healthy eating only” your sole option during the workday, it becomes much easier to stick to a healthy eating plan.
Snacks are encouraged, but ensure that they’re snacks that will keep you energized and productive, not napping by 3 PM. It’s incredibly helpful to make a weekly list that includes a meal plan, snacks to purchase, and meal ingredients. This helps you to factor in the times when you’ll be eating away from home, as well as stick to a budget and menu plan.
Part of health is maintaining your body in alignment. You can work on your posture, make time for stretching or yoga, but sometimes you will need outside help. Since working from home typically features desk jobs, you can be prone to neck and back pain and tension.
If you’re struggling with pain even after looking into ergonomically correct furniture, it can be helpful to consult a chiropractor, physical therapist, or your family doctor. Ensure that you’re doing everything you can to maintain your body’s structure while you work from home!
It’s important to factor exercise into your day, and when you work from home, you have more flexibility as to when this occurs. If you prefer morning workouts, you have a bit more time to get that in. If you’d rather wait until mid-afternoon, this typically wouldn’t be an issue. The important part is that you make time for it!
A dedicated exercise routine keeps you healthy, as well as helps you to make up for all the time you spend seated.
Mental health is just as important as your body’s health! While working from home is convenient, it can be isolating if you aren’t careful. Do your best to get out, talk to others, and stay social. Additionally, participate in activities that keep your mind sharp as well as calm, such as puzzles or meditation.
Another part of mental health is keeping work separate from home, which is always a challenge in a home based career. Shut down your work after a reasonable amount of time, and don’t turn “work from home” into “work all the time.”
Exercise may be a dedicated 30-60 minutes, but movement is also key! This includes getting up and moving during the day as unstructured exercise. Stretching is also good for all the sitting that the job entails, and it keeps your blood flowing and your mind sharp.
Set your alarm clock for every hour or so, and take that time to do 3-5 minutes of stretches, dancing, walking in place, or any other activity that keeps you fresh and active.
Staying healthy includes the mind and body, and factors in your mental and physical health at the same time. When you work from home, you have benefits and challenges to staying healthy. Take the steps above to ensure that you’re being your best, healthiest self in your home based career.
Even though working from home allows you to generally eat whatever you want anytime, sometimes that can make it a struggle to stay healthy! In a traditional work setting, the issues usually revolve around takeout and convenience foods, while working from home can create poor eating habits and all day snacking. Read along for some tips to stay healthy as a home based worker.
Keep healthy food options in the house - and visible. Buy a nice fruit bowl and keep fruit right at the kitchen entrance, or purchase pre-cut fruits and veggies for the week. As long as you have healthy options available, it’s much easier to stay on track.
If you struggle with all day eating or simply snacking on the wrong foods, do your best to keep temptations out of the house during the week. It doesn’t have to be painful! Think of what you can include in your diet - fresh fruits, veggies, whole grain crackers, protein - versus what you have to eliminate. You can always have whatever you choose, it’s just better for health and productivity to make most of that food healthy.
Find something fun to look forward to! This doesn't have to be food, but it certainly can be. Why not plan evening trips to a new park with your kids, or another healthy activity that teaches them good habits. You can also meet a friend at a new healthy eatery - this is something to look forward to that fits your goals and allows you to socialize as well!
Make a plan and stick to it! It’s much easier for your time and productivity levels to have meals planned out as well. On Saturday or Sunday, make a plan for the week, create your grocery list, and head to the store. You can do all of the cooking for the week in a few hours, and then everything is pre-packaged and ready to go. When you make a plan with anything in life, your goals tend to get met and unexpected challenges that come up are much less likely.
Meal plans are also incredibly helpful for families, as your kids can also participate and give healthy meal ideas. This also allows them to learn about cooking, clean eating, and fun snacks that are always available.
Your goals do not need to have anything to do with weight loss, but feeling good while working from home is a noble one. When we eat better, we feel better! Shift your focus from “bad” foods and deprivation to really fueling your body for a productive, happy workday, and feel free to include treats whenever you choose. This process is really about what you’ll do most of the time, and what will allow you to feel your best when it would be easier to simply avoid healthy eating in the home.