Back To School Nutrition Challenge!

You've prepped for the school year.

Now it's time to prep for your family's health.

Join Experience Momentum Nutrition on a 6-week Back to School Nutrition Challenge!

 

Back to school time means adjusting schedules and often scrambling to coordinate last minute meals and make sure you and your family are well fed. Therefore, we decided to create a simple challenge to help you focus and create a successful fall food strategy. Play along with challenges each week and explore how making small changes to your food and beverage choices can positively affect your energy levels, mood, and even cognitive performance. For more ideas, inspiration, and recipes, make sure to follow us on social media: Experience Momentum Nutrition on Facebook and @experiencemomentumnutrition on Instagram. 

 

Week one

Begin with breakfast. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, as it helps you wake up your body and your brain. Research has correlated eating breakfast with having lower body weight, consuming fewer calories and fat throughout the day, and having higher intake of fruits and veggies and fiber, which all contribute to wellness and longevity. Eating breakfast is also associated with having better performance, memory, and attention during the day, which is especially important for school-aged children. This week: eat a daily breakfast with a blend of protein, healthy fat, whole grains, and fruit within the first 90 minutes of being awake and set your body and brain up for a day of awesome. 

 

Week two

Lunchbox loving. Food is fuel and eating a healthy lunch ensures you will have the energy to focus during your afternoon. Lunch also helps keep your metabolism active and firing, helping sustain you until dinnertime. Lunch is especially important for kids, as they need the fuel to help their brains learn. Don't feel tempted to overcomplicate what constitutes lunch or compare yourself to strangers on Pinterest. If the lunch you pack has a blend of protein, fat, carbs, and produce, and your kids will eat it, it’s good in our book! This week: pack lunches that have 1/3 of your plate or lunchbox as veggies or fruits, 1/3 as protein, and 1/3 as whole grains. 

 

Week three

Rethink your drink. Your body uses water in all of your cells, organs, and tissues. Being adequately hydrated helps maximize athletic performance, regulates body temperature, prevents constipation, helps your body fight off illness, boosts your metabolism, and supports brain function. In fact, not drinking enough water can negatively impact focus, alertness, and even short-term memory. This week:  drink 8+ cups of water each day, and swap out 1 non-water beverage choice for water each day to maximize your brain power and explore how good your body feels with enough water. 

 

Week four

Snack attack. A healthy snack is a great way to help sustain your energy until your next meal and can help prevent grazing as you prep dinner or overeating in the evening. If you notice a dip in your energy or mental focus between meals, try adding in a balanced snack. As carbohydrates give you a short-lived burst of energy, always make sure to include protein and/or fat with your snack for sustained fullness. Have some pre-portioned snack options available in plastic bags or Tupperware to make life easy. This week: plan grab-and-go snack options with a balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. 

 

Week five

Meal Prep Madness. Busy weeknights often result in frozen pizzas, Uber Eats, or a trip to the drive-through. If you spend a few extra minutes prepping or partially preparing foods during the weekend, you can save yourself time and hassle during the week. New at meal prepping? Try roasting up a sheet pan of veggies you can eat off all week, washing and slicing fruits, veggies, and greens for a DIY salad bar in your fridge, cooking up some brown rice or quinoa in advance, and dicing up some veggies so you can easily throw them into scrambles, salads, and bowls. This week: spend extra time prepping veggies/meal ideas over the weekend to make life easier for you during the week. 

 

Week six

Distraction-free dinners. Eating dinner as family has been shown in research to be linked with lower risk of obesity, substance abuse, and eating disorders, as well as boosting children’s self-esteem. Family dinners are also an opportunity to model healthy eating habits as well as connect with your loved ones. Eating in front of a screen has been shown to encourage overeating and has been linked with obesity, weigh gain, and disease. Conversely, mindful eating where you thoroughly chew and taste your food has been linked with weight loss and improved mealtime satisfaction. This week: explore mindful eating by making dinners distraction-free. 

 

Bonus challenge

Move more. For an added body-loving bonus, make an effort during this challenge to intentionally move your body in some fashion each day. If you are not currently in the practice of daily movement, begin with 5-10 minutes of walking, foam rolling, or gentle stretching. Get creative with it: gardening, housework, and impromptu kitchen dance parties all count. All movement is good movement! 

 

Don't forget to follow us on social media for more ideas, inspiration, and recipes: Experience Momentum Nutrition on Facebook and @experiencemomentumnutrition on Instagram.