CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - The kids are back in school but that doesn't mean that they can eat whatever they want! Nutritionist Dr. Laura Christoph showed us how they can eat healthier without giving up the tastes they love!
Peanut butter and jelly is certainly a classic. However, with a few upgrades, it can also be added to the healthy/allergy friendly list.
- Allergies! Nuts and peanuts are often banned from schools due to increases in allergy rates.
- Try an alternative seed butter like sunbutter (made out of sunflower seeds) for that nutty flavor.
- Added sugar: regular jams and jellies are full of added sugar. Look for varieties that contain 100 percent fruit.
- Or even better, make a sun butter and banana sandwich to get in a whole serving of fruit!
- Bread choices. Always go for 100 percent while grain bread. And don't be fooled by the brown color or number of seeds you see on the bread! You must see 100% whole grain flour listed as the first ingredient, and there must be at least 2g of fiber per 100 Calories.
It is pretty easy to spice up a typical turkey sandwich with a variety of spreads and condiments. These selections make your sandwich seem gourmet, but just require a couple extra condiments and veggies to replace typical lettuce and tomato.
Pesto sauce, spinach leaves, and red pepper! The pesto gives your turkey sandwich a nutritional punch with heart healthy monounsaturated fat, while spinach and red pepper are packed with vitamin A and C!
- Dijon mustard, apple slices, sprouts and romaine lettuce (optional: add a slice of cheddar)
Dijon adds flavor without extra calories, while apple adds some natural sweetness. Sprouts and lettuce add to the texture and are packed with fiber and micronutrients.
Tips for Drinks & Sides:
- Make sure juice boxes are 100 percent fruit juice and dairy products are low fat. If you choose a chocolate milk, remember there are a few teaspoons of sugar in there, so you might want to count that as dessert!
- Make sure you look at the sugar content of both granola bars and yogurt.
- When possible, choose granola bars with more fiber and yogurt with more protein as well when comparing products.
- Try cutting fruit slices or making a fruit salad. A more colorful bowl of fruit means a wider variety of nutrients and a more appetizing flavorful snack for you or your child!
- Try veggie sticks dipped in hummus or low fat dressing for a nutrient rich and crunchy snack. If you are going for chips or crackers, look for at least 2 grams of fiber per 100 Calories and as few ingredients as possible.
- Think real food rather than chemicals.
- A treat is fine, but just watch the portion size!