'Snack' To School the Right Way
September reminds us all – whether you have children or not – that it is Back to School season. Whether that means restocking your closet with some new fashions, or updating your desk drawer with freshly sharpened No. 2 Dixon-Ticonderoga pencils, it’s the marking of a new beginning and a fresh start.
For parents, it’s also the quintessential season of increased activities; between school, homework, playdates, sports, music lesson, and even more structure in addition to the 9 to 5 grind, it’s complicated to say the least.
Whether or not you have children, Back to School marks a busy time of year at school and at home. And with new stressors against that constant daily grind, your wellbeing shouldn’t fall by the wayside.
To help keep your healthy choices top of mind throughout the day, we’ve put together a ‘Snack’ to School season guide to keep you (and your family’s) wellness goals right on track.
Eat the Rainbow
When choosing the right snack, think about the rainbow; incorporate color via baby carrots, berries, bell peppers, broccoli, and other colorful fruits and vegetables onto your plate for a healthier snack. Vegetables and dip are a great after school snack, or if you’re crunched for time in the morning, opt for a colorful smoothie to start the day off on the right foot.
Read more: Need a quality dip for your crudité? Try this Traditional Hummus recipe for a creamy, protein-filled option.
Meal Prepping Includes Snack Prepping
Snacking right means planning ahead. We often think about meal prepping at the beginning of the week, but what about prepping our snacks?
If you know you’re having a busy day, plan the appropriate snacks in advance. Taking the kids on-the-go to soccer practice? Headed into a two-hour long meeting? Think through your snacks.
But what makes a snack the right snack? The Formula for Healthy Snacking isn’t complicated. Just remember:
Protein + Fiber + Healthy Fat = 400 calories
A snack that contains a combination of whole grains or fiber, lean protein, and heart healthy fats is better for you than the sugar rush you’ll get from a cookie (or two). Think: an apple with almond butter, whole grain crackers and a small serving of cheese, or dried fruit and a good quality jerky (just check the sodium). Nosh on your balanced snack before your meetings to avoid getting hangry.
Read more: Meal prepping includes breakfast! Try these heart-healthy Overnight Oats recipes for a real treat!
Satisfy the Sweet
Have a sweet tooth? You’re not alone.
Instead of diving head first into the candy jar (looking at you, Halloween bucket), plan ahead for sweet treats. Dark chocolate-covered fruits are a great teat to swamp out instead of that 7-layer chocolate fudge cake; it’s lower in calories, sugar, and saturated fats – hello, win!
Read more: Recipe: Dark Chocolate Dipped Fruit
Hydration is key to a healthy lifestyle and is often one of the more forgotten aspects of our overall health. As much as possible, stick to drinking water: it has zero calories, zero sugar, and supports the functionality of your body. If you need to spruce up your beverages, infuse your water with herbs and fresh fruit for a fresh twist.
Need more Wellness help? Read our Director of Wellness’ latest Thrive Global column, Building Wellness into Your back to School Schedule for additional tips.
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