Think Outside the Lunchbox with Healthy Meal and Snack Ideas

It’s that time of year! Summer is over and the kids are headed back to school! This year think outside the lunchbox with nutritious and tasty snack and meal ideas that your kiddos will gobble up! Check out my recent appearance on DC’s Let’s Talk Live to help kick off the school year with healthy food tips that will make the transition back to school easier and healthier!

Get Your Goodness to Go

Cereal can be a smart choice for a quick breakfast. Look for high fiber, whole grain options like Post Grape Nuts and Shredded Wheat.
But what about when you really need “grab and go”? chocog2gPost has a new breakfast shake called “Goodness to Go”. These new dairy blend beverages are an excellent source of protein and are made with natural sweeteners and flavors. Post is making it easy to have a nutritious and satisfying breakfast. Its available in three flavors, Dutch Chocolate, Tahitian Vanilla and Mocha, so there is something for everyone. Check out Post Goodness to learn more.

Power Up Your Lunch Box

About half our plate should be fruits and veggies. Besides the sandwich, the sides and snacks can be a great way to get in fruits and vegetables.
Pack Zespri kiwifruit, it packs a “punch”. Two kiwifruit have more vitamin C than an orange and as much potassium as a banana. And they’re high in fiber and cholesterol free. Kiwifruit are easy and fun to eat, but most people cut them wrong–All you do is cut it in half with a knife and spoon it out. You can send a cut kiwifruit in the lunch box and let your kids scoop out the goodness. Or you can slice it, which are great to snack on or even place on a peanut butter sandwich instead of jelly. Another option is to dice it up for a fruit salad you make at the beginning of the week and pack each day. Kiwifruit is quite versatile. You can also add kiwifruit to your kid’s yogurt for a sweet tangy taste.Zespri_Landing_Hero_Gold

Did you know Zespri kiwifruit is available in two varieties? The Zespri Green kiwifruit is probably what you’re familiar with. The SunGold variety has a sweet, refreshing Tropical flavor and it’s newly available in the U.S. And, two SunGold kiwifruit have 2.5 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Don’t miss out! Zespri kiwifruit are only in season through October. You can find the Zespri brand at Safeway, Whole Foods and Wegman’s– or check with your local grocery retailer. Be sure to visit ZespriKiwi.com for more inspirational recipe ideas.

calraisinsSend the kids to school with a nutritious sandwich or wrap. I love tuna salad, egg salad, and the classic “PBJ”. The sides and snacks you send can be a great way to get fruits and vegetables.
California Raisins
are an all-natural, dried-by-the-sun fruit you can feel good about sending with your kids. The ingredient list says it all: Raisins. They have Zero fat, no cholesterol, no added sugar, California Raisins come by their sweetness naturally. Plus they have fiber, potassium and iron, too!
Convenient and portable, California Raisins are a great choice for wholesome, healthy, on-the-go snacking. Try them on their own or in one of the recipes from Love Your Raisins like the honey nut mix, crunchy cinnamon mix, peanut butter pretzel, or the cocoa peanut raisin mix. California Raisins have a great giveaway happening on their Facebook page for Back To School–if you love raisins check it out!

Choose a “Better Bar”

EnviroKidz Back to School Snacks Giveaway - prize graphicThere are lots of granola bars on the market to choose from. You want to pack a quality bar that tastes good and is good for you. EnviroKidz products come in delicious flavors that kids love like Chocolate and Berry Blast.
Parents can feel good about them because they are organic and non-GMO, which means they are not made from synthetic chemicals or Genetically Modified Ingredients. The entire EnviroKidz line is gluten-EnviroKidz Envirotrip contest graphicfree, so everyone in the family can enjoy them together. They are also whole grain, low fat, and trans-fat free. As part of their ongoing Conservation efforts, EnviroKidz is having a contest where you can win an all-expense paid family trip to Costa Rica to help save the Sea Turtles. Enter at EnviroKidz.com and learn more about their Environmental initiatives.

Hydrate Young Athletes

After school, the real fun begins with after school activities like sports. Pre-fuel those practices with high carbohydrate foods like fresh or dried fruits, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Most kids doing sports are probably going to ask their parents about a sports drink, but not all sports drinks are equal. Body Armor_BRANDEDBODYARMOR is a healthier alternative to other sports drinks because it has no artificial ingredients. It’s made with coconut water and is high in potassium and low in sodium. Most people get enough sodium through their diet and don’t need to get it from sports drinks. BodyArmor has 2.5 times the electrolytes and more vitamins than the other sports drinks on the market. It comes in 6 great tasting flavors fruit punch, orange mango, and strawberry banana so everyone can enjoy!

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to@ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite back to school tips and recipes for keeping the kiddos healthy and happy.

Disclosures: I was compensated by California Raisins, BODYARMOR, Post, Zespri Kiwifruit, and Nature’s Path for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

 

Fruit2o “Docks” at Boston Harborfest to Get Pledges for Healthy Living

Hey Beantown residents… Are you without plans for the fourth of July? Boston Harborfest (www.bostonharborfest.com) in the Boston, Massachusetts City Hall Plaza could be just what you’re looking for! Running from the 2nd of July to the 5th, the event is free with over 200 events and Fruit2o will be there too.

Between historical reenactments, tours, concerts, and Chowderfest, stop by the Fruit2o booth to sample some of the new Fruit2o Essentials flavors and make a pledge to be healthier with “small changes”. You may have heard me talk about making small behavior changes before on my interview with Fox 5 in D.C. and other interviews throughout the summer in my work with Fruit 2o.

A small change is the best jump start to living healthier. Small changes can be anything from walking 15-30 minutes each day or drinking less sweetened beverages (sodas, energy drinks, sweet tea). Sugar sweetened drinks have little nutrition for the calories and can lead to weight gain and diabetes. According to the Massachusetts Diabetes Prevention Program, an estimated 110,388 more people in Massachusetts had diabetes in 2007. As little as one 20-oz sugar sweetened beverage a day (17 tsp) is nearly twice the recommended “sugar limit” (9 tsp) — eek!

If you want flavor, you can try hydrating with a zero calorie water beverage like Fruit2o. Miss soda bubbles? Mix equal parts Fruit 2o and seltzer water over ice for a zero calorie fruit flavored cooler.

When you pledge to make a small change like the ones above, you can also make a difference in the fight against diabetes. For every pledge, Fruit20 will generously give a dollar to your local American Diabetes Association. A small change for you can mean a big change for the community! What a great trade off!

Can’t make it to Boston? Visit Fruit2o on Facebook and write a pledge on their wall. They’ll still donate a buck on your behalf. Be sure to specify the Boston chapter of the American Diabetes Association.

For more information on the Boston Harborfest, follow them on twitter or visit their website.
www.twitter.com/bostonharborfes
www.bostonharborfest.com

Fuel Up to Play 60 Gives Tips for a Healthy Summer with the Kids

By: Carlene Helble- Elite Nutrition Intern

Over the past year more than 60,000 schools were involved in ‘Fuel Up to Play 60’, an online challenge between schools. Students kept track of healthy options they took advantage of within their schools and at home. The first place winner was Enslow Middle School of Huntington, WV (yes, Food Revolution Huntington)! One fantastic thing the school did was to hold a taste test event to help choose healthy lunches to be made in their cafeteria, as well as start a walking club.

Even though school is out for summer, it’s important to remember to help kids eat nutritious foods through their vacation. Snacks are an easy way to help teach your family how to prepare healthy dishes in the form of a ‘mini lesson’ providing some great family bonding time and nutrition education rolled into one. Snacks like these strawberry frozen yogurt squares are a good source of calcium and provide a more nutritious alternative to an ice cream cone. Remember that calcium provides growing kids with healthy bones and teeth!  Another good snack to make would be fresh vegetable burritos, filled with fiber and protein, an important component of every part of your body. Try to avoid packaged snacks as they tend to be less nutritious than fresh, home made foods. Cutting up an apple to have with some peanut butter is more nutrient dense than a bag of chips, and will help keep the family healthy during vacation and instill good habits in the kids.

When outside at sports events or family gatherings, it’s crucial that children stay hydrated, especially with hot weather. Remind the kids, and your self, to take a break and have a sip. Some of us don’t even drink as much as we should! Take advantage of the outdoors during summer and aim to be active for 60 minutes per day. Go for a swim, play soccer in the back yard, or flex those creative muscles and make up your own game. You could even take after Enslow Middle School and start a neighborhood walking club. Summer can be a great opportunity to teach your kids how to stay active, and chose healthy foods.

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