5 Back-to-School Nutrition Tips Your Kids Will Love

photo source I know that a lot of you out there are busy parents like me who want to provide the best for your kids but need some shortcuts on how to do it fast and well.  Which is why I’m thrilled to bring you this post from nutritionist and Dr. Oz contributor Kate Geagan.  She’s sharing everything from her favorite kid breakfast and snack ideas to the anatomy of a healthy packed lunch.

And please don’t forget, Kate’s going to be sharing even more of her wisdom during our live facebook chat on the Clif Kid facebook wall this Wednesday, September 18th at 9am PST/12 pm EST.  It’s all a part of the Clif Kid Parents Series and there’s going to be tons of great information shared, the opportunity to chat with dad and olympic champion Jonny Mosley, and prizes too!  Hope you can join me then to chat!

There’s a wonderful expression that the English have: sorted. Properly pronounced more like “sore-tid”, it’s a rather brilliant shorthand for “Why yes, I’ve got that covered”. Figured out. Taken care of.

Which brings me to how we feed our kids during back to school time. I know that many of us are on a quest to find reasonable shortcuts that help our children enjoy good nutrition, but offer fresh food ideas they will love. Our goals are simple: to give our child high-quality building blocks for energy and focus. To power them through learning, play, and after school activities. To perhaps remind them a bit of the tastes from home. And to keep it all rather sane and simple. Is that such a tall order?

To help, here are 5 Essentials, your step by step guide, to get this key aspect of your child’s back to school routine “sorted” in no time.

Start with a High Quality Brekkie. Ok, so I’ve moved continents for another term I love. But the best building blocks are minimally processed, whole foods that look as close to the source as possible. This is because their whole nutritional package is intact, providing high quality calories filled with vitamins, minerals, antixodants, and other compounds your child needs to thrive. An ideal breakfast should contain a mixture of complex carbohydrates for sustained energy and protein for stable blood sugar and focus until snack or lunch time.

Ultra-fast options in under 5 minutes include:

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Plus, it helps support a healthy body weight. For an economical and eco-friendly option, pack a reusable BPA free water bottle in your child’s backpack so they can stay well hydrated all day. It’s one of the best lifetime habits you can instill. For more on the topic, check out my recent post here.

Strike a Balance at Lunch. Here’s what the lunchbox should look like:

Go Natural and Organic When You Can. Because of their small size and rapid growth rates, children are especially vulnerable to potentially harmful pesticides, or hormones and antibiotics in conventional foods like meat, milk, fruits and vegetables. So go organic when possible: it’s better for your kids, and better for the planet. Going natural and organic also protects you from things like high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors, dyes or preservatives.

Fight Afternoon Hunger With Clean Energy Snacks Healthy snacking provide a much needed bridge between meals for tiny tummies and helps deliver the calories and nutrients kids need for energy and focus as the day drags on. In my house (and maybe yours) snacks need to be planned and packed in the morning, as there’s no returning home until dinner time on some days! Look for a snack that has between 150-200 calories.

Here are some of my favorites that have strong nutrition merit but stand up to rough housing in backpacks and fluctuating temps. Simply stow and go.

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Feeling sorted yet? I hope so. I also hope you’ll come and join Steph, myself, Zina Harrington and skiing stud Jonny Moseley for more chatter and tips on our upcoming Clif Kid Parenting Series September 18th 9 am PST/12 pm EST on the Clif Kid Facebook wall! See you there.

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