Skip to main content

Back-to-School Nutrition Tips for Parents during COVID-19

August 14, 2020

There’s no denying that this back-to-school season is like no other. Whether your child attends in-person classes or practices social distance learning, this school year will be different for everyone. Aside from buying school supplies and getting to know your child’s new teacher, take some time to plan out what your weekly meals will look like.

Will you be dropping off your kids early to have breakfast at school or will you need to provide all three meals throughout the day? Being a parent is tough and coming up with a different meal for breakfast, lunch AND dinner is a whole different playing field. But, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Always remember, life is hard but food is easy – especially if you meal prep or create a weekly menu. It will not only help your family have a balanced diet with enough protein, carbs and fats but it will also make your days easier as the kids go back to school. Plus, keeping snacks like string cheese and yogurt in the fridge that kids can get by themselves throughout the day will help reduce disruption in your day.

Here are some helpful tips on how to tackle the day in an easy and nutritious way.

The Breakfast Club – at Home

We’ve all heard it – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And it is, but what if your child won’t eat breakfast? Sometimes, those extra five minutes of sleep are worth it – for you and your child. However, this doesn’t mean you have to skip the most important meal of the day. Frequently, when we hear the word “breakfast”, we think of the popular family movies where the table is filled with endless food; pancakes, eggs, oatmeal, fruit, shakes, juice, milk, you name it! But it doesn’t always have to be the way. Actually, most of the time it isn’t.

A good way to kick this “no time for breakfast” habit is to have some on-the-go options ready, such as:

  • Apples and Peanut Butter
  • Parfaits or Yogurt Cups
  • Overnight Oats
  • Shakes or Smoothies

(And for the parents, a good ol’ cup of joe – with steamed milk, of course.)

Lunch – You Can Totally Sit With Us

If you and your kids will opt for social distance learning, navigating the school cafeteria won’t be a problem. The navigation will have to be done at home. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Instead of power lunches, give your kids a dedicated time to enjoy their meal. Lunch raises our blood sugar level in the middle of the day which helps us rest, recharge and refocus. At school, most kids get a carton of milk to go with their meal. You can continue this habit at home so your kids continue consuming the servings of dairy that their body needs. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), kids should consume around 2 or 2.5 servings per day, depending on their age.

Already had a glass of milk in the morning? No problem! Here are some options for their second serving of dairy:

Need some meal inspiration, check out our weekly recipes.

Dinnertime is Family Time

If it’s one thing we’ve learned during these past few months is that meal time is even more important when you share it with the ones you love. Try and make dinnertime a family occasion. Studies show that when family meals are a priority, kids tend to eat healthier.

Meals don’t have to be elaborate to be filling, comforting or nutritious. Whether you make an easy lasagna with a side of veggies or a creamy potato soup, keep family a priority. Remind your kids of the importance of making family memories and telling silly jokes. Learn more about the importance of family meals and encourage your kids to take advantage of this quality time.

Here are some dinner ideas to get you started:

Related Articles