Healthy Back to School Tips

by Stephanie Kramer

Now that school is back in session, and schedules are busier than ever, it can be easy to let healthy habits slip. While it is tempting to simply throw a frozen meal in the microwave or get takeout all of the time, there are a few easy ways that you can eat healthy, wholesome meals and still have time to do everything else.

Here are five tips to staying healthy while at school:  

grocery cart#1. Plan & shop for meals ahead of time.
Before you go food shopping, set aside some time to plan out meals for the whole week. Planning meals ahead will not only save time during the week, but will also make you less likely to order takeout, and prevent you from having nothing in your fridge by the end of the week.

My Fitness Pal has a great blog post about how to plan your meals effectively and efficiently.

#2. Make time for breakfast.  
Instead of waiting until the last possible second to get up in the morning, try to set your alarm a bit earlier so you have time to eat a filling and healthy breakfast. Grabbing a bagel or protein bar is quick, but it is not the healthiest option and won’t leave you feeling too energized throughout the day. Making some eggs with whole grain toast, or having a smoothie with whole grain cereal will leave you feeling much better to take on whatever your day has in store!

Here is a link to some great healthy grab-and-go breakfast ideas.

#3. Make your lunch the night before.
If you have a busy day, sometimes it is tempting to just buy lunch nearby, or simply skip the meal all together. If you make a lunch the night before however, you will not only have control over what you will eat, but it will also be cheaper than going out and buying something. Having an insulated lunch bag is a great way to bring a healthy lunch wherever you go.

Here are some healthy lunch options for when you’re on-the-go.

#4. Swap out refined grains with whole grains.
This is such an easy way to eat healthier and stay fuller longer. With extra fiber, whole grains are a great way to curb snacking throughout the day. Buy some whole grain bread and pasta to make quick and easy meals without sacrificing the flavor of the meal.

fresh produce#5. Keep fruits and vegetables in your kitchen.
While produce can be expensive, try to buy cheaper options like bananas, oranges and carrots. Frozen vegetables are also a great way to save money, and extend the product’s shelf life. You can also save some extra cash by buying produce in season.

If fruits and vegetables aren’t your favorite, you can always sneak them in. Some examples are adding broccoli to your mac and cheese, adding fruit to your cereal, or adding spinach to your smoothie.

Check out “the balance” website that lists all of the fruits and vegetables that are in season in each month.

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