Back-To-School Healthy Meals

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

August 17, 2005

With school just around the corner schedules are changing and so are eating habits. After summer, children move back to stricter schedules, which has many of them skipping the most important meal of the day--breakfast.

"Children that don't eat breakfast often don't think as well during the day. They're not as on top of things and [it] makes studying and learning very difficult," said Dietitian Erika J. Zeff.

It's not just over eating during at night, but also pigging out on snacks. More importantly eating the wrong kind of snacks in the wrong kind of amounts.

"I say everything in moderation. Nothing is completely off limits but portion sizes are very important especially when it comes to snaking because its the snack foods that people tend to overeat on," said Zeff.

"For his lunch he gets juice and a bagel, or a sandwich like turkey or something like that and maybe some fruit," said parent Jim Pisano.

Dieticians suggest a main entree, side, and veggie. Sides include cheese or low-fat yogurt and main entree?es can be creative.

"The best things to do with sandwiches is to vary the bread. You might have two slices of bread or you might have pita bread or use small wraps. You can make low-fat burritos, you can make low-fat wraps, you can do pita pizzas," said Zeff.

Children enjoy interactive eating. You can take veggies and dip them in light dressings or fruit in low-fat yogurt.

Charlottesville in particular has focused on getting healthier food into the schools vending machines.

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