By: Victoria Franco
A new year hastens upon us. Not a calendar new year, but a new school year. New school years are a time of reunion, as friends meet up after a long summer apart, but they’re also a time of change as students embark on the next level of their academic studies. At the beginning of each school year, new supplies are bought, work is completed with fervor and students search for small ways to improve their academic and personal lives. One of the best ways to ensure success at school and overall health and wellness is to eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet includes a healthy combination of fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, proteins and fats, all in proportioned sizes. Learning to cook at home and incorporate a variety of wholesome vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins are key to maintaining a balanced diet. When the school year kicks into full gear it can become extremely difficult to cook at home and to eat the recommended daily servings of each food group, especially vegetables, fruit and lean protein. Not only do school schedules make life hectic, combined with parent work schedules it can seem impossible to find time to eat anything let alone healthy foods. The following recipes are all easy and low fat/calorie dishes to maintain a balanced diet while on the go. This school year, make an effort to nourish your body and consume wholesome foods in balanced proportions.
Wholegrain Turkey and Cheese Wrap with Honey Mustard
This wholegrain turkey and cheese wrap with honey mustard is perfect to pack in a school lunch or eat in the car on the way to your game. If you’re in a time crunch in the morning, you can even prepare this wrap the night before and store it in the fridge for an easy grab-and-go in the morning. The turkey is lean so you eat an efficient source of protein that will keep you full for an extended period of time without the unhealthy fat in other meats. The wholegrain wrap contains less sugar than a white wrap so your blood sugar won’t spike and the cheese contains calcium. The veggies contain fiber and are low to no calorie.
3 or 4 slices of 95% or 99% fat free turkey
1 thin wholegrain wrap, flatbread, etc.
1 slice of low fat provolone, Swiss or mozzarella cheese (made with 2% or skim milk)
Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, (any vegetable of your choice)
Any honey mustard of your choice (preferably one low in calories and fat)
1) First lay your wrap flat down on a plate.
2) Apply desired amount of honey mustard and spread across the wrap.
3) Lay your turkey flat on the bread and then cheese.
4) Add lettuce, tomato and other vegetables of your choice.
5) Fold the bottom and top half of the wrap and then the sides. Fold over once more. Cut in half.
Apple Slices with Cinnamon-Honey Peanut Butter
Apple slices with cinnamon-honey peanut butter are one of the simplest, yet satisfying snacks and sides. The peanut butter offers protein and healthy fats and the apple contains Vitamin A and helps contribute to your daily fruit intake. The crisp apples spread with creamy peanut butter slightly sweetened with cinnamon and honey make the perfect duo to nibble on after school, in between classes or with a wrap or a sandwich.
1 apple sliced or pre-cut
A few tablespoons of low fat creamy peanut butter
Cinnamon (sprinkle to taste)
1 tbsp. of honey
1) Combine a few tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 tbsp. of honey, and sprinkle desired amount of cinnamon (2 or 3 dashes). Mix together.
2) Dip apple slices in peanut butter mixture.
Graham Cracker Owls
If you’re craving something sweet after a meal but still want a dessert that contains less fat and calories than a cupcake or a slice of pie, than you will adore these Graham Cracker Owls. They come in small portions and are made with ingredients that are low in fat and contain fewer calories. This sweet treat is a great alternative to other heavier desserts and is fun to make!
1 graham cracker
2 large marshmallows
1 tbsp. of peanut butter or Sun Butter
Dark chocolate chips
2 thin pretzel rods
1 piece of candy corn
1) Place graham cracker on a plate.
2) Warm marshmallows for approximately six seconds in the microwave. Once slightly warm, press down on marshmallows in between index finger and thumb. Apply a small amount of peanut butter to one side of each marshmallow and place on the graham cracker side by side.
3) Apply a small amount of peanut butter to the back of the chocolate chip and press in the center of each marshmallow.
4) Apply a small amount of peanut butter to the end of each pretzel rod and place on the graham cracker to form the arms/wings of the owl.
5) Apply peanut butter to the back of the piece of candy corn and position between the two marshmallows to form the nose.
6) Decorate the owl with more dark chocolate chips (Ex: use to form buttons from the nose down) *optional