Now that school is here and Fall is in full swing, it’s an important time to fuel your kids with healthy, balanced meals. The start of the school year is also a great time to teach your kids the importance of eating healthy, nutritious, balanced meals. “I’m tired”, is nothing you want to hear from active kids, and “I’m bored” is no excuse for unhealthy snacks and free-for-all food raids.
Begin by establishing meal times so that you and your family eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and as close to the same time each day. Start their day off right with a balanced breakfast that will stabilize blood sugar already within a normal range for steady energy that lasts all morning. Toaster treats, high-sugar cereals and other high-carbohydrate breakfasts can spike blood sugar and lead to energy slumps. But a balanced protein breakfast such as eggs with whole wheat toast or Greek yogurt and granola can steady blood sugar and supply a more balanced ratio of the nutrients needed for active bodies. If your kids tend to be picky eaters and leave half of their meal on the plate, 40-30-30 smoothies are delicious and an easy way for you to know they are eating a balanced breakfast with carbohydrates, quality protein and healthy fat. 40-30-30 smoothie recipes are easy to make and combine slow and fast burning carbohydrates from a variety of fresh or frozen fruit and a small amount of natural sweeteners from honey or agave nectar. They have quality, low-fat protein from whey protein powder and fat from nuts or coconut.
The recipe below can provide a variety of flavors by rotating seasonal fruits through the school year.
40-30-30 Fruit Smoothie
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen sliced fruit (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, oranges, mango, papaya or melons)
- 15 grams pure whey protein powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon local honey or agave nectar
- 1/2 cup water and/or ice (depending on desired thickness)
- 1 1/3 tablespoon chopped nuts or unsweetened shredded coconut (macadamia, almonds or walnuts)
Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender till smooth.
Approximate Calories: 200 (20 grams of Carbohydrates, 15 grams of Protein, 6 grams of Fat)
School snacks need to be quick, easy to pack and balanced with carbohydrate, protein and fat as well. Greek yogurt with fruit cups, cottage cheese with fruit cups or string cheese with an apple are all good choices. But an even easier snack to pack is a Balance Bar. Kids love the variety of flavors and moms can feel confident they are snacking onbalanced nutrition for lasting energy.
And don’t forget to keep the kids well hydrated by filling kid-size, BPA-free bottles with water and ice. You can also replace juice boxes and sugar sweetened beverages with fruit-infused water, low fat milk or coconut water to minimize carbohydrates and maximize nutrients and hydration.
You can find “Kids’ Favorite” meals and recipes in our book, The Formula, for a wide variety of 40-30-30 balanced meals your entire family will enjoy. The mealtime habits you create this school year with your kids can help lead to a lifetime of nutritious choices and healthier, more active kids.
Joyce Daoust is a Certified Nutritionist, Balance Bar Spokesperson and national best selling co-author of THE FORMULA, A Personalized 40-30-30 Weight Loss Program