Contact: Carol Schliesinger
Public Relations Manager
SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 6, 2017) – The start of the school year can mean hectic schedules and busy routines for San Antonio families. With so much going on this time of year, it’s important to keep you and your family prepared with healthy choices. Viva Health is a campaign from the Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health), committed to provide and simplify nutrition recommendations. Below are some Viva Health tips to make your family’s return to school a healthy one:
Start the Day Right with Breakfast
Breakfast can make a big difference in you and your child’s day. Studies show that children who eat a healthy breakfast have:
higher test scores
better muscle coordination and problem solving
Viva Health recommends that you make half your plate fruits and veggies. For breakfast, that means using the power of carbohydrates for energy with fast-acting foods like fruit combined with slow-acting foods like whole grain cereal, toast or oatmeal.
School Lunch Prep
Viva Health recommends using smaller plates or containers for portion control. This is an easy habit to incorporate if you’re preparing you or your child’s lunch at home. Here are a few ways to make your lunches safe, healthy, and easy to prepare:
- Portioned meals and side items are easy to measure out with reusable containers. Pay attention to the sizes!
- Be cool: use an insulated lunch bag along with freezer packs or a frozen water bottle to keep perishable items at the proper temperature.
- Ease your morning routine by packing lunch items the night before and include a variety of veggies and fruits. Fill a sandwich with sliced or shredded veggies like carrots, cucumbers, celery, peppers, onions, radishes, tomatoes, zucchini, and salad mixes or with sliced fruits like apples, pears or avocados. Make it a habit to eat the rainbow of colors and try a new fruit or veggie in season each week.
After School Snacks
In the heat of a San Antonio afternoon, hydration and after school snacks can be critical to your child’s continued performance, especially if they are involved in after school activities. Viva Health recommends drinking water, not sugary drinks to stay hydrated and healthy. Cold water works best to keep your body functioning at its peak! Here are some other healthy after school snack options to try:
- Shelf-stable foods like small portions of trail mix, granola bars, and whole grains like rice cakes serve as energy-rich options that don’t need refrigeration.
- Fruits and veggies like carrots, apples, bananas, celery sticks, dried fruits and unsweetened applesauce.
- Protein-packed foods like cans or pouches of tuna, peanut butter, and nuts.
As the San Antonio community prepares for the “Back to School” season, keep Viva Health’s three core messages in mind:
- Make ½ your plate fruits and veggies, every meal, every day.
- Use smaller plates or containers for portion control.
- Drink water, not sugary drinks.
Make this school year a success with these healthy eating tips to eat well, and feel great!