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Beat the Back to School Rush

Summer. One blink and it’s gone! Back-to-school means schedules and routines. What better time than now to add healthy eating to the mix! First up: lunches. It’s 9 p.m., kids are in bed, and you’ve finally sat down after a jam-packed evening. Oh, but wait! Lunches! The key to easy and healthy lunches is planning and having the right foods on hand!

Who doesn’t love a good, hearty salad for lunch? Take time on Sunday to clean your lettuce and chop veggies. Toss together the night before and throw in some legumes and a handful of nuts. Don’t forget the dressing!

One of my favourite dishes is a bean and whole grain salad. I make a big batch on weekends so I have grab and go lunches and snacks for the first few days of the week. Cook up your favourite whole grain (I’ve been on a quinoa and wheat berry kick lately), throw in some rinsed canned beans, peas or lentils (I like black beans or chickpeas), add your favourite veg (I add diced peppers, green onion, cucumber and tomato) and toss with your favourite seasonings, lower fat dressing or oil and vinegar. Pack for lunch or as a snack … or both!

Hard-boil eggs on the weekend. They stay fresh in the fridge for up to one week with the shell on. Pair them with your favourite vegetable as a healthy snack! • Stock up on easy-to-grab snacks. Choose fresh fruit like apples, pears, bananas, plums, grapes; unsweetened, lower fat yogurt; granola bars with at least four grams of fibre; and unsalted nuts. Stay tuned next month for time-saving strategies for easy, healthy weeknight dinners!

Jenn Giurgevich is the founder of Spark Nutrition & Health, a virtual nutrition consulting business.
Visit www.sparknutritionandhealth.ca for more information.


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