California Avocado season has ended.

Avocado Nutrition Tips for Going Back to School

Written by the Meal Makeover Moms

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As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting.
Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados.

We’re always sad when summer comes to an end, but like many busy moms, we welcome the routine of having our kids back in school. Beach bags get replaced with backpacks, and daily reminders about sunscreen get replaced with “Do your homework, please!”

For lots of parents, one of the biggest challenges of back-to-school time is coming up with healthy lunches and afterschool snacks kids will happily eat … and not trade! Thanks to one of our favorite fruits - California Avocados - we’ve created two easy recipes guaranteed to help keep kids and teens fueled throughout their school day and when they come home, too.

Read on for the recipes as well as our Top 10 Meal Makeover Mom Back-to-School Nutrition Tips.

California Avocado Orzo Salad

avocado orzo

If your kids suffer from brown bag boredom, shake things up by offering fun lunchbox alternatives like this playful pasta salad. With California Avocados as the star ingredient, you’ll get great flavors in every bite, nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

California Avocado and Banana Frosty

avocado banana pudding

This frozen treat takes an after school snack to the next level! It is naturally sweetened with bananas and agave and gets its luscious, creamy consistency from delicious, good-for-you California Avocados.

Top 10 Back to School Avocado Nutrition Tips

Now that your kids are back in school, get back in the daily routine of adding great nutrition to your family’s diet. Our “A plus” tips and tricks will get you started.

  1. Get Your Zzzzzs Believe it or not, studies suggest that, in children, not getting enough sleep is associated with weight gain and obesity. So now that they’re back in school, be sure to set up a bedtime routine and stick with it!
  2. Eat Breakfast Choosing a whole wheat English muffin topped with mashed avocado or peanut butter or a bowl of whole grain cereal with berries can help keep kids’ bodies and minds fueled up for the school day. Studies suggest that children who eat breakfast do better in school and have better attendance.
  3. Plan Together Add excitement and appeal to lunch boxes and snacks by including your kids in the planning and prepping process. The benefit: odds are good they’ll happily eat everything! Use our 7-Day Meal Planner to get organized.
  4. Pack Ahead Cutting up fruits and veggies, boiling pasta for pasta salad and getting sandwich ingredients prepped can be done at night to avoid the morning rush. Having lunches and snacks at the ready makes for easy assembly before the school bus arrives! Try our California Avocado Orzo Salad as a quick and easy make-ahead lunch option.
  5. Think Balance According to USDA’s MyPlate.gov, half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables. The same holds true for lunch boxes, so fill them with fruits, vegetables, a lean protein source such as turkey, tuna, or beans, and a whole grain.
  6. Choose Whole Grains Make half of your grains whole grains. To reach that goal during the school year, use whole wheat bread, pitas, and tortillas for lunch and snack sandwiches and wraps, whole grain pasta for yummy salads, and pack popcorn and whole wheat pretzels for snacks.
  7. Stay Hydrated The best beverage for lunch boxes is water. At zero calories, it’s refreshing, hydrating, and free! Calcium-rich low-fat milk is another smart option. When packing juice, stick with 100% fruit juice and limit the portion. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not more than 4 to 6 ounces per day for 1 to 6 year olds and 8 to 12 ounces per day for older children.
  8. Smart Snacking Make nutritious snacks accessible so it’s easy to pack mid-morning nibbles like cheese sticks, trail mix, diced fruits and veggies with dip, yogurt, applesauce and granola bars. And be prepared with nutrient-rich nibbles when the kids get home from school, because chances are, they’ll be famished. Our California Avocado and Banana Frosty should hit the spot.
  9. Add Eye Appeal to Lunch boxes Make good nutrition hard to resist by presenting sides, snacks, and lunches in fun and playful ways. Fill colorful containers with red and green grapes, sliced bell peppers with hummus dip, a medley of fresh berries, dried apricots and mangos or whimsical wraps.
  10. Be a Positive Role Model When moms, dads, and caregivers eat a varied and nutritious diet, their kids are more likely to follow their lead!

What are your favorite school lunch meal ideas and afters chool snacks?

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