School routines are back in motion, making what our children eat even more important for their energy and performance. Sadly, there’s a childhood obesity epidemic taking place in our country. Nearly 15 million children and adolescents are considered obese. This means that our kids now have chronic conditions that were once exclusive to adults, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and breathing problems like asthma and sleep apnea.
Texas Diabetes NextStepMD health coach, Heather Andrews works with clients and says parents can play a huge role in lowering these statistics by packing nutritious lunches and snacks that contain protein, fruits and vegetables. This will help your students stay focused and energized throughout the school day.
Heather says to avoid foods high in preservatives or additives. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, research shows some food additives may impact a child’s hormones, growth, development and raise the risk of obesity.
Here are some easy meal ideas and recipes that Heather recommends for lunches, as well as dinner suggestions for busy parents:
Step 1: Pick a protein & starch
(Peanut butter & jelly sandwich, cheese quesadilla, turkey or ham sandwich, chicken & rice, pasta & chicken or turkey)
Step 2: Pick a fruit
(Apple, blueberries, strawberries, halo oranges, grapes)
Step 3: Pick a veggie
(Carrots, celery, snap peas, cucumbers, dill pickles, lettuce & tomatoes & matchstick carrots)
Step 4: Pick a snack
(Yogurt, string cheese, cubed cheese, granola bar)
- Hummus Dippers: Pita Bread (cut into triangles, Hummus, celery sticks & baby carrots)
- BBQ Chicken Dippers: Diced grilled chicken & BBQ sauce
- Berry Yogurt Parfait: Vanilla Yogurt, Graham Crackers, Strawberries & Blueberries
- Easy Chicken Fajitas
- Italian Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
- One Pot Fajita Pasta
- For more information about our NextStepMD weight loss program and healthy, nutritious recipes, click here.