Fuel for School

Fuel for School
Learn New Ways to Eat Smart

A new school year means getting your kids back into a routine of choosing smart foods so they can perform at their best in the classroom. 

Our nutrition tips will help you to fuel your family with food throughout the school year so that your kids grow strong from the inside out.

  • Breakfast

      Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives kids the energy they need to power through the morning and sets up good eating habits for the rest of the day.

      Kids who skip breakfast are more likely to be absent from school, have more difficulty getting along with others and may even experience anxiety.

      In contrast, kids who regularly eat well-balanced breakfasts generate higher scores on standardized tests and show improvements in math, reading and vocabulary.

      Check out these breakfast tips from our Strong4Life program:

      - Make breakfast part of your family’s morning routine.

      - Prepare breakfast at home. Try our quick and delicious rise and shine rollups.

      - If time is an issue in the morning, having your kids eat breakfast at school can be a time-saving and cost-effective alternative.

  • Lunch

      A healthy, tasty lunch provides the fuel your child needs to finish the school day, attend after-school activities and get a head start on homework before dinner.

      Feed your kids’ bodies and minds at lunch with these smart food tips:

      - Let your kids choose school lunch. Wouldn’t it be nice to send your kids off to school knowing they’ll have nutritious food options without spending your precious time packing their lunches? Based on federal guidelines, your kids’ school now serves all the components of a balanced plate, which includes whole grains, fruits, veggies, protein and dairy.

      Even better news for parents is that school lunches are affordable and convenient. This means your kids are able to get a nutritionally balanced meal for less, right in their cafeteria. The average cost of a home-packed lunch with juice is $3.81 a day, while the cost of a school lunch with milk is about $2.45 a day. Learn more about school lunch programs.

      - Create a well-balanced packed lunch. If you prefer to pack your child’s lunch, skip the sugary drinks and juices as well as fruit snacks, cookies and other energy-zapping treats. Keep in mind that while convenience foods are convenient, they can do more harm than good. Read about the dangers lurking in your child’s processed school lunch foods. Need ideas on what to safely pack for your kids' lunch? Check out our 5-day menu planner for school lunch ideas or mix and match to create your own.

  • Power Snacks

      Eating between meals is a good idea for your kids as long as you make sure they do it right with nutritious snacks.

      A smart snack includes two to three food groups from the balanced plate. For example, string cheese with whole-wheat crackers and tomatoes or an apple with peanut butter and a glass of plain, low-fat milk.

      It is also important for kids to learn how to prepare healthy foods themselves. You can empower them to make smarter snack choices by helping them to plan and prepare their own snacks. Place a variety of healthy options at eye level, place fruit in attractive bowls or brand fruit with fun stickers. Be sure to compliment your kids for making smart food choices.

  • Special Events

      Classroom Parties

      From fundraisers and birthday parties to sports events and holidays, there are many reasons to celebrate at school. 

      With just a few simple changes, you can help make your kids' school events more nutritious and healthier for everyone. Here are a few ways to get you started:

      - Ditch the sugary drinks. Encourage water in place of soda, sports drinks or juice.

      - Limit sweet treats. Serve plenty of colorful fruit and veggies instead.

      - Take the focus off food by planning more activities such as scavenger hunts, dance parties, extra playground time or arts and crafts sessions.

      - Create a scavenger hunt, have a dance party or enjoy extra playground time.

      Team Events

      Whether your kids have joined a soccer team or play pick-up basketball at the park, Strong4Life has a simple game plan to make sure they stay hydrated and fueled up for play.

    A Cookie Took My Son’s Life: The Real Danger of Nut Allergies

    "Food allergies aren’t just hype," says Charles Dillard on the Children's Blog. "They’re real, and they’re dangerous."

    Charles shares how his teenage son passed away after he mistakenly took a bite of a cookie containing peanut products.

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