Back To School Food Tips

The Healthy Way to Head Back to School

By: Angela Jenkins, Wellness Coordinator with Blue Cross, Blue Shield

     It’s getting close to that time of the year where the summer is winding down and fall activities are revving up, including going back to school. This can be an exciting time and sometimes stressful due to an increase of things that need to get done.  Whether you are getting ready to start a new school year or just getting back on track after the summer, these tips can be helpful for a successful year.

     Plan, Plan, Plan! Did I mention planning? This is one key in being successful overall. Meal preparation once a week is a huge time saver. It takes a little effort and time commitment each week to figure out the menu but worth it in the long run. WebMD offers 6 Budget-Friendly Meals to help get you started.

          *Tip: Try cutting and packaging produce right after grocery shopping. This helps save time for meal prep throughout the week as well as easy grab and go snacks.

          *Tip: Cook extra protein 1-2 times a week to use for that week’s meals to help save time throughout the week as well.

     Get and STAY Organized Again, this will take a little extra time initially, but knowing what events are happening a head of time can help prepare and reduce stress waiting until the last minute.

          *Tip: Get and/or utilize some type of calendar (Outlook, the calendar on your phone, or an old-fashioned paper calendar) to write down upcoming events. Don’t forget to use the notes section to make to-do lists.

     Don’t Reinvent the Wheel Do what has worked for you in the past. Doing what you can the night before can be extremely helpful and reduce stress in the morning and next day.

          *Tip: Make lunches, set out clothes, have after school/after work snacks packaged and organized in the fridge and pantry.

     Ask for Help/Delegate Tasks Use your resources and DELEGATE! The to-do list keeps growing but no additional hours are granted to us in a day, so use your time wisely and ask for help.

          *Tip: Prioritize tasks and complete them by importance and necessity. Check off completed tasks once they are finished, it is satisfying to see what you have accomplished!

          *Tip: Group errands together by location so you can be successful in completing them in a shorter time span.

     Don’t Skip Breakfast Starting the day out by fueling your body with healthy foods can be helpful to execute these extra tasks. This is another great way to keep up on additional everyday jobs, helping to combat fatigue and the fall of blood sugar, which can lead to a tired feeling. 

          *Tip: Breakfast actually breaks the fast from our sleep. When we eat something within a couple of hours of waking, our metabolism gets a kick start. Otherwise, our body hangs on to the already stored fat we have because it doesn’t know when it will get fuel again. In other words, our bodies go into survival mode and keeps the metabolism slow so it doesn’t burn unnecessary energy.

      As with any new routine and habit, it takes practice to master. Be patient and diligent with the changes you want to make. Here’s to a successful school year!

Mark Stiles