It's back to school, and that means back to meal planning for parents. Coming up with healthy options is important, considering childhood obesity is a nationwide epidemic. In fact, doctors say one in three kids are overweight, a trend that has more than doubled since 1980.
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and to help curb the troubling trend, Seattle Children's Hospital has put together a way for parents to stay on track. The Recipe for Better Health: 7-5-2-1-0 is simple.
7- Start the day with breakfast 7 days a week
5- Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
2- Keep screen time under 2 hours a day
1- Be active for at least 1 hour a day
0- Aim for 0 sugar-sweetened drinks
One other helpful pieces of advice, according to Dr. Mollie Greves Grow. Include your kids in meal planning and preparation. The more involved they are in selecting recipes, putting together grocery lists, shopping for food and preparing a meal, the more interested and excited they'll be to eat it.
It's important kids get lots of protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. Nutritionist Deborah Enos stopped by our studio to share her top three healthy meal ideas for back to school. Here are the recipes if you'd like to try at home.
INSTANT POT HIGH PROTEIN OATMEAL
Most people think of oatmeal as a sweet breakfast-loaded up with sugar or maple syrup. I’ve turned it into a protein power house by adding an egg and making it savory instead of sweet. What you want to focus on is buying oatmeal that takes a long time to cook. The longer the cooking process the higher the fiber content. I’ve chosen an oatmeal that has 7 grams of protein and I’m using a pressure cooker to prepare it.
I love the INSTANT POT and by using the pressure cooker setting I can make oatmeal in less than 5 minutes! Here’s how I “protein in” up: I add an egg on top with a little sprinkle of cheese. This doubles the amount of protein turning this into a meal that will keep your kid full for about 3+ hours.
If your kid doesn’t like eggs try adding a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter with a sprinkle of chocolate chips on top and turn the oatmeal into a treat without too much added sugar.
Making a wrap sandwich instead of a regular sandwich is a fun way to get more produce into your kids. I find that if you “line” the wrap with spinach they don’t notice it as much as they would on a regular sandwich with bread. Here’s my favorite wrap:
- Grab your favorite tortilla and spread with a little sour cream, pinto beans & sprinkle with some taco seasoning.
- Key point: I mash the beans with the sour cream & taco seasoning so they are less likely to notice J The black beans are a terrific way to add more protein and fiber-sneaky but good.
- Add a layer of spinach and sprinkle with some shredded cheese.
- Add some leftover chicken and roll into a burrito/wrap
- Send a little container of salsa for dipping.
ZUPA NOMA, or make your own!
- ZÜPA NOMA. Each bottle of ZÜPA NOMA drinkable soup is gluten-free, vegan and certified organic - and is filled to the brim with 4 servings of whole organic veggies!
- You can also make your own drinkable soup, here’s my favorite recipe: