It started with pre-season football practice in August, and has since snowballed into evening Parent Teacher Association meetings, Friday night varsity games and the end of the first quarter of the fiscal year.
Don’t even get us started on returning to a normal work schedule from those sweet summer hours and preparing the kids for school each morning. In short, September is a busy month.
Fear not, you super moms and dads. Your schedules may be packed, but that doesn’t mean that your family’s health has to suffer. After all, there are many reasons why it’s important for you to make your home a better place for healthy eating. Let’s put those tips to the test with four quick, easy, healthy and delicious food ideas for busy and conflicting schedules at the beginning of the school year.
Classes end for the kids at 2:30 p.m. and you’re stuck in the office until 6 p.m. They know the rules — no one watches television or hangs out with friends until homework is completed. But lunch for them was at 11:30 a.m. and they’re really hungry by the time the student council meeting lets out at 3:15 p.m.
A pre-homework snack is important for growing minds and bodies. It keeps them from overeating, provides nutrients and balances blood sugar levels — all important factors when the kids need to focus on their school work in the afternoon. We recommend snacks that will serve as fuel without being too filling, such as granola, vegetables and hummus dip or celery and peanut butter.
When a swim meet begins at 7 a.m. on a Saturday and goes until 4 p.m., you need to fuel their bodies for the challenge of sustaining physical activity. Proper nutrition is so important for child athletes. They need constant hydration; a pre-exercise meal full of protein, carbohydrates and good fats; time for muscle recovery; and snacks throughout the day. We recommend planning meals in advance to make sure that the food you supply them hits all of those marks before a competition or game.
Occasionally, you’re the reason for the hectic schedule. You can’t always be there to cook meals, so preparing them in advance ensures that your family will continue to eat nutritiously when you’re otherwise occupied. We recommend taking several recipes, making them in advance and freezing them for those occasions.
It’s the end of the work and school week and everyone is exhausted. Plus, you all want to celebrate with some junk food before heading to the high school football game. Instead of calling your local pizza delivery shop, make your own at home by packing your pie with nutrients. Pizza isn’t necessarily unhealthy if you make it with a whole-wheat crust, use fresh tomatoes (instead of canned sauce, which contains lots of sugar and salt), and pile it high with vegetables and protein (like chicken), with just a fraction of cheese.