Back-to-School Nutrition Guide: 5 Parenting Hacks for Kids Nutrition
The school year is hectic and even the most dedicated parents need parenting hacks to ensure their kids are getting the necessary nutrition. Luckily, these simple tricks and ideas will make your life easier during the chaotic back-to-school season, while keeping your child fueled for learning.
Sneak Veggies in Protein Smoothies
Protein smoothies are a busy parent’s best friend. Not only are they easy to make with minimal mess or cleanup, but you can take them on the go. If you don’t have time for a full nutritious breakfast, supplement with this easy meal, packed with vitamins and nutrients kids need to grow.
Protein smoothies are also the perfect hack for getting your child to eat more veggies. You can add most varieties without affecting the flavor or texture of the smoothie—especially when you use tasty protein mix, like Healthy Height’s chocolate and vanilla flavor.
Still, there are some veggies that are better for protein smoothies than others. Up your kid’s veggie content with:
- Riced cauliflower
- Steamed cauliflower
- Canned pumpkin
- Roasted sweet potato
- Kale (massaged to break down the fibrous texture)
Don’t forget to add fruit and a healthy fat, like avocado, flax oil or yogurt. Fat helps the nutrients absorb, ensuring that your kid reaps the benefits of every sip.
Bake and Cook With Alternative Flours
The flour aisle of any grocery store is packed with alternative flour options that you may never have used, or even heard of, before. Yet, many of these options are healthier for your little one, and can be used in lieu of wheat flour in most recipes. For example, chickpea, flour, also called garbanzo bean flour, can be used to make chocolate chip cookies and zucchini bread. Not to mention, just one cup has 21 grams of protein, 2.7 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and 778 mg of potassium.
Coconut flour is another tasty option, and can be used to make cookies, muffins, bread, tortillas, pancakes, and much more. Check out The Coconut Mama’s 100+ recipes to get some ideas.
Other alternative flours that are easy to find in most grocery stores, or online, include:
- Almond flour (Try our No Bake Healthy Brownie Bites!)
- Brown rice flour
- Oat flour
Prep Breakfast the Night Before
Breakfast is one of the hardest meals to get on the table. Mornings are chaotic, but kids need food in the morning to fuel their brain for the day. Instead of waking up an hour early to prep and cook, choose meals that can be prepped ahead of time. In the morning, you just grab and go, or quickly cook the items you prepped the night before. Here are a few simple ideas to try:
- Omelette in a Bag
- Applesauce Overnight Oats
- Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt Cups
- Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Breakfast Jar
- Batch Prep Breakfast Sandwiches
Substitute Greek Yogurt Whenever Possible
This dairy item is packed with protein (17 grams per 1 small container), potassium, vitamin B-12 and calcium. It’s also the perfect substitute for unhealthy creamy options like mayonnaise or sour cream thanks to its lower fat content. Get your kids to eat more of this nutrition powerhouse by using greek yogurt as the:
- Cream substitution in pasta sauce
- Sour cream substitution in tacos or burrito
- Cream substitution in frosting
- Oil substitution in baked goods
- Heavy cream substitution in soups
- Sour cream or mayonnaise substitution in dips
Greek yogurt is also a quick and easy breakfast item. Just add low-sugar, whole-grain granola for a delicious and healthy meal. Better yet, stir in a serving of chocolate or vanilla Healthy Height for a tasty, nutritious, protein-packed breakfast.
Make Healthy Food Easy to Get
When your kids come home from school or sports practice, the first thing they want to do is eat. Make it easy for them to munch on a healthy snack by keeping these options at eye level in the fridge or sitting on the counter. This can be as simple as keeping a washed bowl of fruit where kids can grab or leaving a prepared snack in the fridge, like pre-cut apple slices or celery with peanut or almond butter.
Chelsea Lords, from Chelsea’s Messy Apron, finds this hack to work well: “By having washed, dried, and cut veggies + fruits always ready in the fridge it’s making it so much more convenient (and fun!) for us to snack healthier. It’s also great to have prepped veggies for a grab-and-go snack.”
But don’t stop there, try Lords’ fun mason jar idea. All you need is: a few of your favorite veggie dips, an assortment of your favorite veggies, and small mason jars (4-8 ounces).
Wash and cut your veggies to fit the mason jars. Fill the bottom with your dip and stick the veggies into the dip, standing up straight. Seal and place at eye level in the fridge for your kids to grab. Be sure to eat them in 4 to 6 days so the dip or veggies don’t go bad.
The Nutrition Parenting Hacks You Need for Back-to-School
Don’t let your healthy lifestyle fall to the wayside when school starts. Use these parenting hacks to stay on track and fuel your child for long days of school, activities and fun with friends.