Snack Your Way to Smart Nutrition
● By Family Features
Aspirations are high at the start of each new school year. From aiming for good grades to making a fresh commitment to better snack and lunch choices, it’s a time of year to set goals and start reaching for your big dreams. Serving up nutritious lunches and snacks is an easy start for heading down a successful path.
If the busy pace of back-to-school has you worried about making time to prepare lunches and snacks, you’ll be relieved to know that not all “fast” food is junk food. In fact, there are many ways to prepare delicious ready-in-minutes lunches and on-the-go snacks that the whole family will love.
When it comes to meal planning, keep these simple tips from the USDA’s MyPlate initiative in mind:
- Make half of each meal fruits and veggies, and choose a rainbow of colors for a wide range of nutritional benefits.
- Bread, pasta, oatmeal and cereal are all examples of grains; make at least half of your grains whole grains for better nutrition.
- Choose lean proteins, which include meats, poultry and seafood. Eggs, beans, peas and nuts also help you add more of the benefits of proteins into your diet.
- Opt for dairy options that are made with 100% milk.
Help keep your kids’ big dreams on track with these quick and tasty nutrition tips from Chris Mohr, Ph.D. and registered dietitian:
- Snack with quality in mind. With close to a quarter of all calories coming from snacks each day, it’s important for snacks to provide quality nutrients to act as a “bridge” between meals, giving you the energy to power through the day.
- Pair kid-friendly items from different food groups for winning flavor combinations. A medley of fresh berries along with bite-size pieces of Mini Babybel cheese make for a naturally nutritious snack. With a rich and creamy taste that all ages adore, each serving of Mini Babybel delivers 4-6 grams of protein plus 15 percent of your daily calcium needs (1), making it the perfect choice for a packed lunch or snack.
- Eating protein frequently seems to be more important than how much you eat. That means each meal and snack should include a bit of protein to fill you up.
- When you’re on the go, the convenience and 100 percent natural cheese of Mini Babybel make them easy to pack, and the colorful red wax-wrapped package means it’s a fun snack experience the whole family can enjoy.
Babybel is helping kids achieve their future aspirations through its Big Dreamers Contest. For more information about the contest, and other ways to participate, visit Mini-Babybel.com, or follow the brand on Twitter at @Babybel or Facebook at facebook.com/BabybelUS.
- See nutrition information for fat and saturated fat content.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (father and daughter)