(Family Features) - With summer gone and children heading back to school, it's time to head back to the kitchen as well. School night meals need to be fast, but as parents aim to establish a healthy eating routine, they need to provide the right nutrients for active bodies and minds. Good nutrition provides essential building blocks to get the brain working properly and at peak alertness throughout the day.
A healthy meal plan is important. The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention notes that the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 - 11 years of age has more than doubled in the past 20 years. Learning how to make smart food choices as a child can increase the ability to make better food and nutrition choices as adults. Start at-home lessons by incorporating the following easy-to-remember smart eating tips.
Get Schooled About Healthy Eating for the Family
- Variety - Plan several days of meals at a time to help avoid repetition.
- Portions - Keep the serving sizes in mind when preparing meals.
- Color - Include colorful foods in a dish for a variety of nutrients.
- Texture - Serve foods with different textures such as crunchy, chewy, and smooth.
- Aroma - Cook with new spices and experiment to create innovative aromas.
- Choice - Select a different vegetable at the grocery store or introduce fish for new tastes.
"Back to school doesn't have to mean back to basics when planning a nutritious weekday meal that will satisfy the whole family," explains registered dietitian, Michele Powers. "Uncle Ben's Ready Whole Grain Medley Santa Fe, for example, is a great product to keep in the pantry for those busy evenings. Ready in just 90 seconds, it also provides a full day's requirement of whole grains in one serving - meaning parents can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with their kids."
For more easy, healthy recipes and information, visit www.UncleBens.com.