Total Therapy Blog
10 Quick & Healthy Back-to-School Tips & Meals
Fall is here and school is officially back in full swing. Whether you’re seeing the kids off to school, or going back to school yourself, a balanced, healthy diet is key to success. Packed schedules can make it hard to plan nutritious, balanced meals, so we’ve prepared a primer on 10 healthy tips and easy meal ideas for busy parents and students.
1. Always, always, eat breakfast!
Eating a healthy, sustaining breakfast ensures that your brain has enough fuel to jumpstart your day and avoid the mid-morning crash. Choose high-fibre, high protein options with modest amounts of carbohydrates – check out the bottom section for ideas.
2. Drink water, not juice.
Most juice is packed with sugar. These empty calories give you a short-lived energy rush, quickly followed by a crash that leaves you feeling hungry and sleepy. Instead of juice, drink water to hydrate. If you or your kids still want juice, try diluting it with water.
3. When making dinner, make extra for lunch leftovers.
Some of the best lunches come from last night’s dinner. If you’re making dinner, make a little extra for lunch – that way, you save yourself the additional prep work.
4. Avoid pre-packaged foods wherever possible.
It’s tempting to reach for the pre-packaged snack boxes and pudding cups in the grocery store. But there’s a problem: these options are often loaded with sugar, salt, and in many cases, saturated or trans fats. Create your own snacks at home – try hummus and vegetable sticks as a quick and easy snack.
5. Choose whole grain or non-wheat options.
When you eat refined white bread, rice, or pasta, your blood sugar levels spike quickly, followed by an equally fast drop. As a result, you feel hungry and tired. Beat the crash – choose wholegrain or non-wheat options (like bulgur, oatmeal, or quinoa flour) to keep your energy levels up.
½ cup quick oats
2 tbsp crushed walnuts, hazelnuts, or flaxseed
2 tbsp raisins or dried fruit of your choice
½ tsp cinnamon
Add boiling water to the quick oats until saturated. Let sit for 1 min, then stir in nuts, dried fruit/raisins and cinnamon. Enjoy!
Good Morning Mix
1 cup yoghurt (choose low-fat, low sugar options)
2 tbsp milled flaxseed
1 piece wholewheat bread (alternative: rice bread)
2 tbsp almond, cashew, or hazelnut butter
Toast the bread and spread on your nut butter of choice. Sprinkle flaxseed on the yoghurt and enjoy!
Nutritious and Delicious Lunches:
1 burrito wrap (wholewheat or gluten-free)
1 tbsp of organic mayonnaise
Leftover dinner meat (chicken, turkey, lamb, fish)
Pinch of cilantro (finely chopped)
Few leaves of baby spinach
Assemble your wrap and pack it into a paper towel. Seal it up with plastic wrap, and you’re set!
Crunchy Bean Chili
Try this one for dinner, and then pack it up for lunch! Freezes well, too!
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp black pepper
2 – 16 oz cans of organic kidney beans
1 – 28 oz can unsalted organic diced tomatoes
1 – 5 ½ oz can unsalted tomato paste
1 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
Add all of the ingredients together and bring them to boil. Let it cool slightly, and pack into a thermos lunch container. Optional: sprinkle cheese on top.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
1-2 tsp organic cocoa powder
1-2 tsp honey or maple syrup
1-2 tsp oil
Pinch of salt
¼ cup water
Remove the flesh from the avocado, and blend it (hand blender is fine) with the other ingredients. Put the mixture into individual containers for lunch/dessert. Simple!