Back to School Meals Made Easy
It’s that time of year when everyone is getting back in to the school routine. With all of the evening activities taking families in different directions, meals can get lost in between. The information below provides some ideas and tips to help families enjoy quick, healthy family meals together during their hectic schedules.
Nutrient-Rich. When planning meals and snacks, choose nutrient-rich foods such as Barilla Plus pasta and Smart Balance milk. The extra fiber in the pasta and the heart-healthy omega-3 fats in the pasta and the milk really give you a nutritious boost.
Balance. Include foods from each food group to meet your daily needs. Look for whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, colorful fruits and vegetables and healthier fats. On occasion, enjoy some sweet treats such as a Diet A&W Root Beer float with light ice cream or frozen yogurt - but remember to balance it out with a healthy meal.
Portions. Avoid portion distortion! Even a high intake of healthy foods can provide you with more calories than you need which can lead to weight gain. Try pre-portioned items including No Sugar Added Del Monte Fruit Cups, and use your plate as a guide: ¼ lean meat, ¼ whole grains, ½ non-starchy vegetables. Add a glass of low fat dairy beverage and a piece of fruit for a balanced meal.
NuVal. Use NuVal, the nutritional scoring system, to help find healthier food choices in each aisle. This easy-to-use, science-based food nutritional scoring system considers more than 30 nutrients of a product and boils the information down into one single number that can be used to compare foods. Scores range from 1 to 100. The higher the nutritional value, the higher the NuVal score. Look for NuVal scores on the shelf price tags of your favorite store brand and national brand products and easily compare them to make healthier choices.
Nutrient-Rich Lunches for Students
To make your children more interested in eating their healthy lunch, include them in the planning and packing of the lunch. Try these ideas:
1. A portion of the Knorr Alfredo pasta side with chopped veggies, such as broccoli and/or mushrooms, and Bumble Bee tuna in a hot thermos. Include lowfat milk (with a cold pak) and grapes.
2. Markets of Meijer deli turkey, a slice of 2% milk cheese, lettuce and sliced cucumbers in a whole grain pita half, 100% drinkable yogurt and dried cherries.
3. Homemade chicken or tuna salad made with Hellmann’s Mayonnaise with Extra Virgin Olive oil in a whole grain tortilla, a string cheese, carrot sticks, and Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Juice.
Quick Tips for Fast, Nutritious Family Meals
· Cook extra chicken breasts when making the Tuscan Glazed Chicken to throw into a quick casserole for another night.
· Use a slow cooker for quick and easy meals.
· Keep your pantry, freezer and refrigerator stocked with healthy foods for fast weeknight dinners.
Sun, August 8, 2010
by Healthy Living Dietitians