Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Make School Snacks a Cinch: Here's How!

This week, enjoy a guest post from my intern, Danielle. This is a great piggy-pack onto last week's post about school lunches. Now you have no excuse to not be ready to feed those student-athletes!

Be Extraordinary,

This school year, prioritizing the nutrition of your children could make it the best year yet for your family’s health. In light of the new “hangry” phenomenon, where hunger causes one to become angry, the inclusion of small, healthy snacks mid-morning and after school could keep “hangry” moods from occurring. If you find that you or your kids become grouchy or tired during the work or school day, it could be that hunger is the culprit. Bringing simple, healthy snacks to school or work may help to combat the side effects of being hungry. Snacking can maintain your mood, keep your energy up, and help you to stay focused. Especially when students are heading off to sports practice after school, consuming a snack during the school day as well as after school will keep their energy up so they can play their best.

If your child cannot eat during the school day outside of designated lunchtime, check to see if a doctor's or dietitian's note will allow your child to have snacks. Other ideas may be to stash snacks in a locker for between-class snacking. When these two options fail, encourage students to have a large breakfast, and consume an after school before athletic practice. Although snacking can get a bad rep, choosing snacks that are low in sugar, salt, and fat, and include some lean protein and wholesome carbohydrate can subside hunger levels and fuel metabolism for top-notch performance. Be sure to consume water throughout the day since water can help combat hunger, and the effects of hunger, as well plus keep the body well hydrated.

 Quick and easy snack ideas:
-Frozen grapes or blueberries for a sweeter snack
-Nut or seed butter (be aware of nut prohibited schools), with a piece of fruit such as bananas or apples
-Hummus and whole grain crackers or vegetables, such as peppers, carrots, and celery
-Low fat cheese sticks and pretzels
-Granola bars that are low in sugar and have ideally at least 5-8 grams of protein
-Mini, flavored rice cakes
-Yogurt, fruit, and granola for a more substantial snack
-Trail mix that is nut or seed based with dried fruit
-Carton of low fat chocolate milk

-Make the snacks the night before or prep on Sunday so they can be grabbed quickly in the chaos of the morning
-Buy prepackaged snacks in the snack-sized or 100-calorie bags for a proper serving size (this works great for nuts)
-If using these ideas for at work, bring a variety of choices to work on Monday and stock the work fridge so you always have an option when your energy begins to fade and the “hangry” mood begins

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