Back to School Roundup

25 Aug

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was paid to represent the brands featured in the blog post and the associated TV segments.

Back to school season is in full swing! Evidence suggests that a well fed kid is more academically successful than a hungry one. Makes sense: it’s hard to concentrate if you’re hungry!

This year, set your kids on the path to better learning with these tips on building a better lunchbox:

Way Better Snacks

  • I love chips – but they have to taste great. That’s why this BTS season I’m into Way Better Snacks – a revolutionary line of chips and crackers that feature 100% whole grain, premium ingredients like sprouted flax, chia and quinoa.
  • In addition to being nutrient dense, they also taste amazing and have no artificial ingredients and are GMO free.
  • Personally, the 2 flavors I can’t get enough of right now are Sweet Potato and Simply So Sweet Chili – each have 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber to help keep you fueled throughout the day – on top of a killer taste profile!
  • Way Better Snacks are available at Whole Foods, or you can learn more at www.gowaybetter.com.

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BODYARMOR

  • Healthy hydration is important at mealtime – but if you’re like me, and not a straight water person, you need to spice it up, and so BODYARMOR is a nice alternative.
  • BODYARMOR is a new, natural sports drink that is packed with potassium, electrolytes and coconut water, along with no artificial ingredients that comes in 7 great tasting flavors.
  • It’s a great option for younger athletes who don’t need all of the extra sodium and artificial ingredients found in other sports drinks – so one of those things kids love because of the taste, but parents love because of the quality.
  • Learn more at www.drinkbodyarmor.com.

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Cranberries

  • CDC data suggests that 60 percent of children do not eat the recommended amount of fruit per day (1-2 cups/day depending on age).
  • Cranberries are a great way to get more fruit in your kids’ diet and to keep back to school lunches exciting while helping them get the nutrition they need to succeed.
  • Cranberries are naturally low in sugar and high in acid, so they require some sweetening to make them palatable – but they have no more sugar than other dried fruits.
  • Check out this easy Cranberry Chicken Salad Sandwich on Flatbread recipe for a healthy and convenient lunch option.

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Peanuts

  • Protein is clutch for keeping you full – and we all know we should be eating more plant protein. Enter peanuts. With 7 grams of protein per serving, peanuts have more protein than any other nut; not to mention over 30 other vitamins and nutrients that make them truly a superb superfood!
  • I love peanuts for school lunch because they’re an affordable and convenient source of protein. You can pack a peanut butter and banana sandwich, a packet to dip apple slices into, or even add peanut butter to your smoothies for a meal on the move.
  • Peanuts also like to party. Try incorporating peanuts into your next gathering with this awesome Edamame Hummus with Peanut recipe.

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BarkTHINS

  • When I was a kid, lunch wasn’t lunch unless there was dessert. Even as an adult I still have a sweet tooth – but as a dietitian, I know the importance of calorie control. Which is why I love BarkTHINS. Oh my word, these are amazing – especially the pretzel flavor!
  • BarkTHINS – whose tag line is “Break up with boring” – is a snackable chocolate made with real, simple ingredients like dark chocolate, pretzels, pumpkin seeds and coconut.
  • I love that all of their products are Fair Trade US Certified and non-GMO. They even come in resealable pouches – so you don’t have to eat the whole bag at once!

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Three Bridges Pasta

  • If sandwich fatigue is getting you down, swap that sammie for some pasta! I love Three Bridges‘ line of refrigerated pastas and sauces. They’re convenient, delicious and super fresh for a healthy lunch in a jiffy.
  • I recently sampled the Organic Spinach & Cheese Tortellini. It’s a great option for families on the go who care about premium ingredients. Whereas a lot of frozen pasta products taste rubbery and are heavy on the pasta, light on the cheese – the Three Bridges tortellini are plump and fresh because they’re right out of your refrigerator!
  • There’s nothing artificial in any of the Three Bridges products, and I love that they even have “superfood” sauces that include ingredients like kale and porcini mushrooms.

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good2grow Organic Juicy Waters

  • Despite my distaste for plain old water, I’m still a huge hydration fan. But I feel it when parents say that most kids drinks are laden with extra sugars..because they are! That’s why I love good2grow Organic Juicy Waters.
  • These guys are just 30 calories per bottle with no added sugar. Kids love the adorable character sipper-toppers and parents love that they don’t spill, are BPA free and also reusable.
  • I found Organic Juicy Waters at 7-11 but they’re also available at Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies.

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Biena Chickpea Snacks

  • 3 meals a day doesn’t cut it for kids (or adults for that matter). You gotta have some in between meal snacks to meet your needs and prevent overeating at the next meal. And those snacks should of course feature fiber.
  • I recently had the chance to sample the whole line of Biena chickpea snacks, and let me tell you – these are A+ on the snacking report card. They’re crunchy but not fried and each serving has 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
  • If you like spicy, you’ll love the Habanero flavor. All of the Biena products are non-GMO and gluten free. You can find these at Target or online at www.bienafoods.com.

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For more info on Building a Better Back to School Lunchbox – check out these 3 BTS segments I did last week:

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