Start the School Year Off Right, Together!

The first day of school is just around the corner!  Here are some family-friendly tips to help you plan ahead, stay organized and involve your whole family.

Before the school year begins:

Mom, can I make... before the busy school year starts, spend some time cooking together with kids.  Even preschool age children can help in the kitchen by washing fresh fruits and vegetables, stirring, and pouring.  Children are more likely to try new foods they help to make.

Let's go to the farmers market... visiting your local farmers market to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to make healthy choices, teach kids where foods come from, and try new fruits and vegetables.  Many local farmers markets accept EBT cards.

What's for lunch... visit your child's school website for information about school breakfast and school lunch menus.  Talking about healthy choices before school starts gives kids a chance to talk about their favorite foods and new foods they would like to try.  Visit the kids' page at:  ChooseMyPlate to learn about MyPlate and healthy eating.
Before bed each night: 
  • I don't like eating... make lunch choices a family activity.  When kids help to make healthy choices they are much more likely to eat their lunch at school.  Read the school lunch menu together the night before, so kids can enjoy a healthy lunch at school.  While you're at it, pack a healthy lunch for yourself.  Kids learn by watching you!
  • What should I wear today... help kids choose their clothes before they go to sleep to make wake-up time easier.  Give young kids a choice of two outfits to pick from.  It will also leave extra time to have a healthy breakfast.
  • I don't have time to eat breakfast... you know the old saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day."  Save time and money by cooking oatmeal, whole grain pancakes, and muffins to freeze in single servings.  No time to cook?  For a quick and healthy breakfast, low fat yogurt topped with fresh fruit and whole grain cereal will start the day off right!

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall