Nutrition pros and FITNESS contributors Chris and Kara Mohr answer your pressing diet Q’s…
September means one thing to moms across the country: Back. To. School!
Though there’s certainly a bit of sadness — time with the kiddos is reduced, pools are closed, vacations are over and freedom comes to a screeching halt — let’s be honest, there’s also a sigh of relief for both moms and kids.
One question that always comes up from the moms we work with, though, is “What should I feed my kids at school?”
It’s tough sorting all the messaging, marketing and information companies throw at us. So we wanted to share a few things we do for our daughter that have seemed to work well. Fueling kids’ bodies is important. They’re active, they’re learning, and they need to stay alert. Soft drinks and sugar laden snacks won’t do it. But fiber, protein, healthy fats and the right fluids will.
Let’s look at four smart options within those categories above and aren’t overly processed, high in sugar, or full of junky ingredients. The best part of all of these: They’re all perfect for kids (and adults).
1. Wonderful Pistachios. These are a personal favorite in the Mohr House. Our 3 year old loves them because they’re fun to “crack open” and of course taste good. We love them because we know she’s eating something great for her. Outside of that — you get the most “bang for your buck” with these little green buggers at 49 nuts per serving! They’re great for after school, at the office and because they’re non perishable, on the go. Since they’re a good source of fiber, healthy fat and protein, they’re also great for satisfying cravings and keeping your energy consistent between meals.
2. Oranges and Grapefruits. These aren’t more ‘magical’ than other fruits, but their tough skin makes them more durable and therefore portable, without getting bruised. And kids like the wedges since they’re more “fun” to eat than many others fruit options.
3. Apple & Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Ella, our 3 year old, LOVES these. The apple slices act as the “bread” and the peanut butter holds them together. Slice an apple thin, spread a side with peanut butter — just like you would with a sandwich — put them together and voila, a fantastic snack. The apples are of course fantastic for you with all their vitamins, minerals and fiber. And the natural peanut butter is loaded with healthy fat and protein to help fill you up as well.
4. Sabra Hummus cups. We love hummus. And we like that Sabra came out with little individual serving size cups. They’re convenient, they’re high in fiber and protein, and when you use veggie sticks, like celery or carrots, as the vehicle of delivery, it’s even better. Enjoy.
That’s it. Four, super easy, super convenient, and amazingly healthy snacks (that your kids will love). Pack these in their lunch boxes to help load them up with a great fuel and plenty of goodness.
A disturbing, strange trend is making the rounds in schools and on YouTube. Have you heard of the Cinnamon Challenge? The “dare” is to swallow a tablespoon of ground cinnamon, without drinking anything, in less than one minute.
While it’s been flying under our radar until recently, the Cinnamon Challenge has been around since the early 2000s. It gained popularity recently across the globe when Big Brother UK used it as a challenge in 2011, and last month Illinois Governor Pat Quinn tried it on-air during a radio show. More than 30,000 individuals attempting the challenge have uploaded videos online involving the challenge, and some have more than 10 million views!
Cinnamon is certainly nutritious when you use it sparingly in recipes (it can lower blood pressure and cholesterol). In this case, however, it can be downright dangerous. Since it’s nearly impossible to avoid inhaling some of the spice, it’s very irritating to your lungs. The challenge often causes severe coughing and can even lead to pneumonia or an asthma attack, health experts have claimed. Even a site dedicated to the challenge includes a disclaimer that says, “It’s going to burn. You are going to cough, and regret you tried…” Yet many still give it a shot, trying to prove to their pals that they have the nerve (and kids have even been found to sneak cinnamon into school inside roomy boots to try this).
Now tell us: Have you talked to your youngsters about this topic? What do you think school leadership and others can do to limit the popularity of the Cinnamon Challenge?