Nutritious foods can have a positive impact on growing bodies and minds, and recent studies show that students who eat adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, proteins and healthy fats do better on tests than those who consumed foods high in salt and saturated fats. In an effort to set children up for a successful school year and a healthy future, SunButter®, the maker of premium allergy-friendly sunflower butters, shares simple solutions for families looking to add more nutrient-rich foods to their school meals.
As a registered dietitian, Wall Street Journal best-selling cookbook author, and mother of three, Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, understands that key nutrients help to drive academic achievement and support overall wellness. But, with picky eaters and busy school mornings, serving a wholesome breakfast and planning a healthy lunch are oftentimes difficult to execute.
“One of my favorite things to do is cook with my girls – they are getting more involved in the kitchen and love creating simple recipes,” said Amidor. “One of our favorite, go-to ingredients for school lunches is SunButter, which is perfect for SB&J sandwiches, cookies and muffins, or on its own as a protein packed dip with celery sticks or apple slices. Schools are also big fans because it’s nut-free and therefore a safer option than traditional nut butters.”
Amidor has teamed up with SunButter to provide five simple tips to help parents and their children gear up for the school year and beyond with real, nutrient-rich foods:
- Get Children in the Kitchen: One of the most effective ways to teach kids about proper nutrition is to bring them into the kitchen and introduce them to cooking. Involving them in the decision-making and meal prep will leave them excited to nosh on their own creations.
- Embrace Make-Ahead Meals: By preparing meals like breakfast over the weekend or one night during the week, food is ready to heat and eat during a busy school morning. The kids won’t have to wait for you to cook something and you can get on with your day. Try these Sunflower Seed and Apple Muffinsfor a sweet yet savory grab-and-go option.
- Eat the Rainbow: Make meals more appealing for kids by adding in a variety of colors. Plus, the more colorful the plate, the more vitamins and minerals your children will be eating. Whenever possible, opt for seasonal fruits and vegetables because the flavors will be more fresh and vibrant.
- Opt for Allergy-friendly Options: According to FARE, one in every 13 kids, or roughly two students in each classroom, are affected by food allergies. Fortunately, families now have access to an abundance of free-from foods that are school-safe. For example, parents can swap out traditional nut butter with SunButter On-the-Go Creamy Single Cups, paired with vegetables, fruit, or pretzels, for a healthy and school-safe option.
- Always Have a Backup Plan: To combat last-minute needs, having a backup breakfast and dinner made, prepped and ready to go will keep you at ease throughout the week and prepared for whatever comes your way. If you can’t get to meal prepping, a nutritious go-to breakfast that the kids can make in less than one minute is whole grain toast topped with SunButter and a glass of 100% orange juice or milk. This covers several major food groups in one delicious and filling meal.
Justin LaGosh, director of sales and marketing at SunButter, added, “When kids go back to school, it’s important to provide quick, easy and nutritious meal options for your family, and SunButter is a key versatile ingredient that will keep both the kids and parents satisfied.”
Packed with protein and containing less saturated fat and more micro nutrients than traditional nut butters, SunButter is made with four ingredients or less (depending on the variety) and most of its offerings are Non-GMO Project Verified. Each serving offers 7 grams of protein and contains no cholesterol, trans fats or preservatives. Additional recipes can be found at www.sunbutter.com/recipes. For more information on SunButter, please visit www.sunbutter.com.