As America’s Nutrition Expert®, Mitzi is a nationally recognized nutrition and fitness expert who has inspired millions to get fit, being named one of the “Top 20 Nutrition Experts to Follow on Twitter” by The Huffington Post.
She is an author, influencer (with over 3.3 million Pinterest followers) and sought-after, trusted source of information. Mitzi co-authored The All-Pro Diet: Lose Fat, Build Muscle, and Live Like a Champion with NFL Hall-of-Famer, Tony Gonzalez. She was the team sports nutritionist for the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals for 11 seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs for over 8 seasons, and for the Golden State Warriors. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and two daughters.
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4 Easy Tips to Fuel Your Kids for
Back To School from a Registered Dietitian
After a long summer break, back to school time gets busy quickly for both parents and kids. While kids prepare for a new year of academics and activities, parents must prepare nutritious snack and lunch options that will keep kids going even on their busiest days. Luckily, there are a handful of better-for-you snack, meal and beverage options on the market that offer nutritional benefits and taste that kids love and parents can feel great about serving. Here are my top suggestions for parents to keep their kids fueled as they embark on a new school year:
Take your kid to the grocery store with you at the beginning of the school year and allow them to choose 2-3 of their favorite fruits for their lunches or to have as a snack after school. Fruit is important for kids to properly fuel up. Also, encourage them to try one new fruit that they don’t typically choose. Making kids part of the decision making process is a great way to create healthy habits and try new foods!
Try incorporating protein into your kid’s lunch and snacks. Protein is important to a child’s diet to help them grow, build muscle and keep their immune system strong. I recommend new Juicy Juice + Protein, one of the first juice-protein blends on the market for kids; it’s perfect for snack time or between meals, throughout their busy days.
Make sure you include a variety of quality carbs, healthy fats, protein and fiber into your child’s after-school snacks for optimal fueling. One of my favorites for kids – my teens love it too – are peanut butter (or almond butter) and banana sandwiches with honey on whole wheat bread. Pro Tip: it’s also delicious toasted!
Lower-sugar juice options are ideal to avoid consuming too much sugar while also hydrating in a tasty way. A favorite of my two girls is new Juicy Juice Fruitifuls Organic, which is made with 45% less sugar than the leading juice while still providing half a cup of fruit in each 8 oz serving. It works well paired with nutritious meals before, during or after the school day.
As a registered dietitian and parent, I know how important it is to keep school lunches interesting so kids don’t get bored. Parents should feel confident knowing they packed a meal that tastes good and is good for them! My recommendation for keeping lunch exciting is to pack the most colorful lunchbox with various fruits and vegetables. You hear about eating a rainbow of colors on your plate and the same goes for filling your kids’ lunchbox! Colorful fruits and vegetables add powerful antioxidants to your kids’ lunch which can help keep their immune system strong. You can even make it a goal to pack all the colors of the rainbow in one meal – a few favorites include sliced watermelon, strawberries, apple, oranges, baby carrots and broccoli. And don’t forget the beverage – Juicy Juice Fruitifuls Organic juice boxes also packs 3/8 cup of fruit in every box and comes in juicy apple, berry cherry, orange strawberry banana, and fruit punch.
An important part of building a perfectly packed lunchbox is making sure to include all the key food groups in order to provide protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and a great beverage for proper hydration. My go-to lunchbox meal for kids includes:
- Turkey or ham sandwich on whole wheat bread for protein and whole grains
- Combine it with hummus and carrots for a tasty serving of veggies
- Add grapes, which are tasty and full of powerful antioxidants
- For a drink, Juicy Juice Juicy Waters will help hydrate your kiddo with no sugar or artificial sweeteners