Food hacks to give your kids energy for their school day

Credit: WFLA

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — Fall is almost here, and students are getting ready for long school days again.

It takes a lot of energy to get up early and power through a busy school schedule, then after school activities, that’s why local nutrition experts say you might want to give your kids an added boost of energy. That starts with staying away from sugar.

Jim White of First Fit in Tampa points to popular breakfast pastries. Sure, they’re easy to pop in the toaster and take on the go, but that sugar rush won’t last long. “That’s like drinking 3 or 4 cans of soda on the way out the door,” said White.

White suggest looking at labels because there are healthy brands out there.

“They are gluten free, non-GMO, with as few as six grams of sugar. Look for good fats, good proteins, something that’s going to fuel your child during the day not just give them that spike – and then by the time they are walking into their first period they’re falling asleep,” he suggests.

The busy dad can relate to how crazy it is to get the day started, but believe just a small amount of planning will lighten the load.

“The difficulty people have is finding the time to cook for kids, to make it convenient and simple for them as they head out the door,” said White.

His big morning hack is to prepare and freeze your own breakfast sandwiches so you can control the ingredients and kids can heat them up on their way out the door.

“When I commit that I’m going that I’m going to cook a bunch of these, I’ll have two pans going,” said White.

White also points to healthy fats as a fuel for the day. MTC oil which comes from coconuts is often referred to as “brain octane,” and can easily be added to shakes and meals. White also recommends paring fruits with peanut butter.

“Like maybe a sliced banana with some peanut butter in the morning will slow down that sugar hit from the banana and allow that energy to be sustained longer,” said White.

While energy powders and shakes are popular, White warns this is another important place to read the ingredients. Shop for ones with low sugar and carbohydrate counts to you can add your own.

“Again, it’s about you controlling what goes into your food. You can add fruit, some people even add oatmeal and that’s a great energy source as well,” said White.

The mad morning dash is about to begin, so now might be the time to start thinking about how you will kick off the day.

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