Back to School Nutrition Strategies

August 21, 2017

Tip Content Provided By: EXOS

Summer vacation has come to an end and school is back in session. With the hectic schedules kids have to follow between spending time with friends, training, and homework, nutrition can sometimes fall short. Stress, exhaustion, and time are also major players in determining what and when kids eat. Planning ahead can be a valuable tool to ensure they feel and perform their best physically and academically.

What to Consider:

  • Time between classes
  • Rules allowing snacks/drinks in class
  • Time sports practice begins
  • Lunch time
  • Transportation of snacks/lunch items (Does it need to be shelf stable or refrigerated?)

Depending on the student’s schedule at school and rules during class time, careful planning may be needed to ensure adequate nutrition is being met. It may be best to communicate with the teacher about your child’s athletic or personal goals and figure out when the best time to sneak in a quick snack or beverage may be. It may be as simple as agreeing that it’s okay to eat/drink during the first 5 minutes of class before it gets started. Or maybe the best time to eat is between classes, so noting how long they have is important to know when selecting foods.

Quick Snack Ideas:

  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Raw nuts & apple
  • Granola bar & turkey jerky
  • Trail mix
  • Banana & individual peanut butter pack

Meal content and timing are both important while your child is at school, especially if they play sports.  Keeping up with hydration and making sure a pre-workout snack or a hefty lunch is consumed within reasonable time before training is a must. Whether the athlete is eating a school lunch or bringing one from home, a balance of carbohydrate and protein sources is key to fueling pre-workout. Remember to look at the school day as a whole, plan snacks and meals ahead of time, and pack appropriately. With adequate nutrition and hydration, performance will be at its peak both on and off the field!

Lunch Ideas:

  • 1 whole wheat pita pocket with turkey and cheese
  • 2 cups yogurt with seeds and berries
  • 1 cup of carrots
  • Water
  • PB&J sandwich(es) on whole wheat bread
  • ¾ cup pretzels
  • 2 tbsp hummus and raw veggies
  • Water
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