PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As our back-to-school week continues, it’s time to take a moment to focus on before and after school.
Specifically, getting your child to eat some breakfast and what to have on hand when they get home.
That’s why once again we’re seeking out the wisdom of a mother of three – Amanda Mushro.
Her ideas are born out of research and her own personal experience with her children.
So, let’s talk about it: the before and after foods.
We always hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that’s, well…because it is.
“We always want to send our kids out with a full belly so they have a good day at school,” she said.
But…whether it’s catching a few extra Zs or a rush to get out the door, or simply “I’m not hungry” often it’s a struggle to get the kids to eat before they leave for school. That’s why Mushro said to get creative.
“It doesn’t have to be a breakfast food,” she explained. “Maybe they’re just a big fan of a turkey sandwich. You’re still getting a protein you’re gonna get some carbs for some quick energy. So maybe if they’re not into breakfast food, try a lunch that they like.”
The easier for them to grab, the better.
On the other end of the day…
“My kids are always so hungry when they come home from school,” Mushro said. “If I just made them snacks every single time they came home from school I would never get anything done right I would spend like an hour after school shelling out snacks.”
So she said when you’re setting up the lunches for the week – set up the snacks, too.
“I put baskets on my countertop with the individually pre-portioned snacks because I bought them in bulk and if I put them into smaller sizes, I know they’re not just digging into a whole bag of chips or a whole container of goldfish,” she continued.
They also can be healthy snacks, too.
“Different things like granola bars, things that they can just grab and go but I also have a section in our fridge with the yogurts and the cheeses and the snacks so again, they can grab and go,” Mushro said.
Similar to what we suggested about school lunches, get the kids involved in the decision of what is going to go into that basket or that corner of the refrigerator.
As for portion control, that depends on the age of the child. The time before dinner will be ready, but it’s best to set up rules in advance. That way they know how much they get from “the basket” each day and they have to ask permission for more.