This week marks the first days of school for many kids (and their parents) across America. While most people think of “back to school” as a period of change for only kids, I have a slightly different philosophy. As a parent, I know that when the kids go back to school, the whole family goes back. Morning routines change from the peaceful and slower pace from summer, back to a frantic sprint as everyone rushes to be on time. That is why I decided to create a three part blog series called “Winning Back to School.”
Last week, in part one, I wrote Three Tips to Have a Healthy Start to the School Year. I emphasized the importance of getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and eating healthy snacks.
This week I am going to elaborate on that last point and share my favorite tips for how to snack healthily.
Research has demonstrated that eating slower allows the mind to register just how full you really are. Most people rush through eating, and then overeat, because they didn’t stop when they were full. One great way to eat slower, is by having cold snacks, such as frozen grapes. You won’t eat them too quickly because you’ll get a brain freeze!
How many of us have sat down to do some work or watch a little TV with a bag of chips (I’m talking about one of the big bags) and the next thing you knew, the bag was empty. That happens when we aren’t focussed on snacking and rather are snacking because we’re bored. If you want to have a snack and are hungry, that’s absolutely ok, but then take the couple of minutes to sit down and enjoy the snack!
Pack a Snack
As I just said, there is nothing inherently unhealthy with having a snack, where people go wrong is what they eat. If you regularly have a snack or think you’re going to want one, pack it before going to school (or work). Most of the time, when people get hungry during the day, they’ll go to a vending machine. Not only can doing this daily get expensive, but most of the snacks in vending machine’s aren’t healthy. They may try to say that they are on the labels, but that’s just the marketing. I also keep a bag of an unsalted nut mix in my bag, so whenever I’m hungry, I have a healthy snack option.
Nuts, fruits, and vegetables are always a great choice for a snack. While some nuts are high in calories, they tend to be protein rich and will make you feel full. Most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables in their daily diet and snacking on them is a great way to make up for that. Finally, studies have proven that the more times one chews an item, the more full the subject felt. This is a great trick to feel full without getting to the point of feeling bloated.
What’s your favorite snack? What strategies do you use to snack healthily?
If you missed the first part of “Winning Back to School” – Three Tips to Have a Healthy Start to the School Year – click here.
Next week I’ll be sharing advice on how to stay healthy during the school year.