HEALTHY LIVING  |  8.16.18  |  by Terra Wellington

This is Part Two in our series of a successful back-to-school routine — Part One here.   With a new school year, families’ schedules change.  It also means homework, after-school activities and sports, and a busier household.  Here are some quick tips with everyday choices to help your family start the school year in good health.

This post is sponsored by SunButter, Daiya, and UnitedHealthcare.

Look for Nutrient-High Foods

One of every parent’s challenges for back to school is helping our children get enough nutrients to make it through the day and do well.  Studies show that healthy and nutritious food helps with learning and physical development.

Now, the basics of a healthy meal include whole grains, protein, and a fruit or veggie.  One great way to achieve this is with plant-based choices.

For example, SunButter No-Sugar-Added is a tasty option for the whole family.  And this can be paired with a whole grain toasted bagel in the morning along with fresh fruit, or a sunflower butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.  It’s nut free. And it’s a delicious and school-friendly option.  Plus, one serving gives you seven grams of protein — with more vitamins, minerals, and plant nutrients than nut butters.

Pack In The Veggies with Plant-Based Foods

54 percent of Americans understand that eating plant-based foods benefit their health.  Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant or just looking for health benefits by adding more veggies in your diet, there’s a lot of innovation in tasty and delicious plant-based food options right now.

A great example is Daiya, which has just launched its new Deluxe Cheeze Sticks and Burritos which are dairy, gluten, and soy free.  The first-ever, plant-based cheese sticks are available in Cheddar and Mozzarella flavors.  And the burritos are packed with seven to eight grams of protein per serving.  They’re made with wholesome ingredients like red quinoa, sweet potatoes, and sundried tomatoes in four varieties.  Both the cheese sticks and burritos are great options for lunchboxes and after-school snacks.

Pay Attention to Eye Health

Another important element for school success is eye health.  In fact, 80 percent of all learning occurs visually. And if the child is having a hard time seeing the board or reading, then there will likely be learning issues.  This is why it is so important to get your child’s eyes checked by an eye doctor, not just the school’s screening program.

If you have UnitedHealthcare’s vision coverage, this is a great time for you because the company has introduced an enhanced eye care benefit for children at no additional premium.  This means members up to age 13 will get a second-covered eye exam and an additional pair of glasses if their prescription changes.  This can really help because children’s eyes can change quickly. And eye exams can detect other potential vision or health issues too.

Here is a link to free exams and glasses donations in cities across the country during back-to-school season.