Guest Blog Post by: Kacie Barnes, RDN
Back to school brings one word to my mind: FREEDOM! I love my kids, but I also enjoy hearing my own thoughts for a few minutes. But this freedom also means giving up some control over your kids’ nutrition, and that can be scary, especially if your little ones are headed to school for the first time.
A lot of parents work hard to feed their kids healthy foods. But at school, kids may buy their own lunch, swap packed lunches with friends, eat snacks provided by school, and get treats at birthday and holiday celebrations.
You don’t have to feel powerless. Here are my top tips to handle it.
1. Continue offering mostly healthy foods at home.
Having a full, nutritious breakfast can help prevent your little one from feeling starved at school. They will be less likely to go overboard on snacks and treats.
2. Pack foods they like if you send them with snacks and/or lunch.
If they have food they enjoy, they are less likely to dive head first into snack foods, hunt out a trade from a friend, or buy something extra in the cafeteria.
Try mixing in some smooth whole-milled flaxseed with peanut butter, yogurt, dressings, and dips, or try some of these easy on the go snacks.
3. Make healthier treats for school parties.
Try these Peanut Butter Flaxseed Energy Bites or send in fresh fruit.
Talk to a teacher, administrator, or the PTA if you have concerns about the food your child is getting at school.
5. Download my preschool snack guide over at Mama Knows Nutrition.
I recently released this guide that I developed for my son’s preschool. So many friends complained to me about unhealthy options at their kids’ schools and daycares. They have felt more confident approaching their schools with an RD-approved snack guide in hand!
Kacie Barnes is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and mom of two living in Dallas, TX. She helps parents and kids learn how to nourish themselves in a simple, healthy, and balanced way. Kacie provides nutrition counseling and she blogs at www.mamaknowsnutrition.com. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.