Making good nutrition a back to school priority

CBS 21

With school back in session, the kids are not only hitting the books again but also the lunch line. Making sure the kids are fueling with healthy option is key.

“Anything goes. Let's start thinking out of the box,” Wellspan nutritionist Betsy Wargo said.

As the bell rings on the new school year, it’s time to once again think about how the kids are fueling their minds and their bodies. Wargo sees it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. She says the good starts with breakfast.

“It kind of kick starts the day. It kind of kick starts us mentally, with glucose getting to the brain. It kickstarts us physically,” she said.

Eggs, yogurt and fruit provide great nutrients while curbing hunger. Staying away from sugary cereals and breads will lessen the likelihood for a sugar crash mid-morning.

“Protein and fiber are two nutrients that I don't think are emphasized enough,” Wargo said.

For lunch, packing fresh veggies and fruits is great for the brown baggers. If school lunch is on your child’s menu, good choices are available.

“Many times the kids eating school lunch, a lot of times are eating healthier,” she said.

My Plate gives you a perfect example of your daily intake, something that you can keep in mind when preplanning your meal.

“I think preplanning is really the key,” Wargo said.

Planning a week’s worth of meals in advance will help promote good choices. Wargo says getting the kids in the kitchen to help pack lunches and make dinner will get everyone thinking about what they are eating.

“Role modeling is critical. The kids from toddler age and up, they are going to look to the parent for proper guidance,” Wargo said.