Easy nutrition for back to school with Heather Campbell
The following content was pulled from a video interview with Heather Campbell of Glory Nutrition. See the end of the article for her credentials and business information.
5 min read
What should be focused on to give our kids the most nutritious food as we head back to school?
Keep in mind that priorities will change by season
Try to get in the big main things...make sure they're getting protein, make sure they're getting fruits and veggies.
“The biggest thing that I say is definitely know how to choose your battles with your kids knowing when to do different types of foods, and to really focus on the relationship at mealtime.”
“And you want to give your children the autonomy, the decision-making ability to decide what they're going to eat. So our job as parents as caregivers is to decide what's available and when it's their job to decide if they're going to eat it.”
How do Food and Nutrition affect the brain and learning?
Heather: “If you don't take care of your body, it's going to be difficult to function. So nutrition plays into that because you have to think of nutrition as the fuel for the machine. So if you think about your body, say like a car...your car has a gas tank you're not going to let it get down to fumes and then end up on the side of the road broken down like oh my gosh, I have no idea why this happened. I bet there's something wrong with my tires...no you ran out of fuel and your machine shut down. So the same thing happens with our bodies. You have to consistently give it the appropriate fuel. If you have an unleaded gas tank, do not put diesel in there, it is a really, really bad idea.”
So you have to be giving your machine, your body, the proper fuel:
color, fruits, vegetables, (sprinkles, don't count).
good sources of fiber
good sources of healthy fats.
“I would say with each meal, hit three out of those four on any given meal or snack, and that's going to give you that sustainable energy to get through the day.”
When it comes to nutrition for back to school, is breakfast really that important?
Heather: “Breakfast is important, but that doesn't mean that it has to be big. So it can be something as simple as...an English muffin with some peanut butter and some fruit jam over the top, you know, a whole-wheat English muffin, it doesn't have to be big. But I still go back to the same foundations protein, color, fiber, healthy fat, if we're getting in two to three of those in each meal, then I know that they're going to make it through a good portion of their day with the building blocks, they need to continue growing to have energy and continue to function in their brain.”
How do we deal with decision fatigue when it comes to breakfast choices?
Heather: “In my Facebook group smarter, not harder. That's what I do. I teach busy families how to work smarter, not harder. Let's not make this more difficult. Let's simplify as much as possible so that we can save our brain space for more important things which, as busy families, there's no shortage of things that are taking our brain space. So let's take some of those off the plate. Let's automate some of those decisions. Make it easier, so then you can move on with your day. So yeah, if you have two or three things that work and those school mornings, those work mornings, those are what you do. We save our big breakfast for the weekend. But the other days, just keeping it as automatic as possible so that you can work smarter, not harder and save your brain space for more important things.”
Do you have a couple of your favorite tips to work smarter, not harder, for school lunches and weeknight dinners?
If you are sending lunch with your child, look for those four things, again, protein color, fiber, healthy fat.
If your kids happen to go to a school that has subsidized lunches through the US Department of Agriculture through the school lunch program, they have made school lunch free for this entire school year again for everybody (2021-2022).
Lunch is not the time to try to get your kids to try this new food, or this dinner that didn't go really well last night, we're going to send out for lunch and they could no not the time when they're learning all day, you need to just give them fuel that's gonna keep them going. We're gonna save those conflicts for times when we are in relationship together.
Driving through, or picking up something is just a reality, with the culture that we live in. You can do things like drive-thru something for your main food, and then finish your meal at home. So what we would do when we lived by a chick fil a, we would drive through and get nuggets, and we would skip the fries, skip the drink...and then when we get home, we're going to get some apple slices and I'm going to microwave a frozen bag of veggies.
At home, you could do frozen chicken nuggets for lunch, but we're gonna do a fruit and vegetable with it.
You can also explore items that you can pick up and have done relatively quickly that don't involve a drive-thru. (like rotisserie chicken and salad)
Have easy backup meals planned for when the evening or dinner plans don’t go as expected
About Heather Campbell: I'm Heather, a Registered Dietitian, Mom of 3, Military Spouse, and a family and child nutrition expert with over a decade of experience in the field. After becoming a mom, juggling a full-time job, three kids under 4, and a husband who was often away for work- in rural Alaska. Stress at the dinner table was a daily occurrence- but it wasn't with my own kids at dinner time; I became obsessed with helping busy moms find shortcuts to feed their families so they can enjoy meals together again. With my proven system, I have helped dozens of moms reclaim their families' eating and find peace in their meals again.
Check out Heather's family nutrition services and programs
Find Heather on the Glory Nutrition Facebook page
Follow Heather's great family nutrition Instagram account
About Zoie Hoffman: From struggling student to inspirational business leader, Zoie Hoffman’s journey has fueled an online educational movement that is helping thousands of families. Learning how to learn was the key to top honors in her degree programs, while being a military spouse and twin mom were the springboard to running a virtual tutoring program. When she realized that the need for her services far outstripped her capacity working solo, she hired other highly-qualified academic specialists to bridge that gap. Now, having blossomed in the midst of a global pandemic, Hoffman Tutoring Group is thriving and so is Zoie.