Healthy meal options for back to school

Schulte says eating healthier meals will help students in the long run for these habits will always be with them.

School starts back in just a few weeks in the Tri-States.

One way to help your child have a great day is by preparing healthy meals.

First, breakfast, after all, it is the most important meal of the day.

"Real easy one is a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and banana sliced up, sometimes you can add a little bit of honey if you want a little bit of sweet flavor and just some skim milk to start of the day with some calcium and some protein," Alexis Schulte, RD, LDN with Quincy Medical Group, said.

Schulte says reduced fat milk lessens the amount of calories you consume as well as fat.

Next, lunch, for some, it is what most look forward to during the school day.

It's a nice release from school work and people are just hungry. Schulte says we need to remix our packed lunch.

She says add more fruits and veggies and also whole grains.

That soon will be the new mandate for schools everywhere under the "Let's Move" campaign started by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Another way to reduce our sugar intake is by our beverage choice.

"Choosing a healthier option for a beverage is going to make a lot of a difference, so reducing the amount of sugar that we eat, that we drink replacing mostly with water, we want to choose water is always better," Schulte said.

Schulte says eating healthier meals will help students in the long run for these habits will always be with them.

Below are some healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks from Quincy Medical Group.

Homemade Peanut butterMakes 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients:- 2 1/2 cups peanuts- 4 tablespoons oil- 2 tablespoons honey (optional)

Directions:1. Put peanuts in a food processor and grind until they are fine and they start to back down into the bowl.2. Add the oil and process again until very well blended; it will be quite soft at this point.3. Lift the cover and add the honey; process--after you add this it will tighten up and become more solid.NOTE: At this point the texture should be fairly soft as it sets some in the refrigerator, but if it is too hard add a tad more oil, but not too much.4. Put into a container and refrigerate.5. Use on whole wheat bread or crackers. Add to celery or fruit with raisins for a snack.

Nutrition:(For 2 tbsp)78 Calories, 7 g Total Fat, 92 mg Sodium, 3 g Carbohydrate, 1 g Fiber, 4 g Protein

Lunchable Pizza

Ingredients:- 1 Mini Whole Wheat Bagel- 1/2 cup tomato sauce- 1/4 cup 2 percent Shredded Mozzarella Cheese- 1/4 cup chopped onion- 1/4 cup chopped Green Pepper- Any other fresh veggie- 1 oz sliced Turkey Pepperoni

Directions:- Spread both sides of the bagel with tomato sauce; add cheese, onion, pepper and pepperoni.- Preheat oven to 425 F.- Place the bagel in the preheated oven and toast for about 10 minutes or until bagel is golden brown.

Nutrition Information:Fat, 600 mg Sodium, 35 g Carbs, 5 g Fiber, 15 g Protein

Breakfast Options

Crockpot Oatmeal Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:- 3 cups water- 1 cup steel cut oats- 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions:- Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for three hours- If doubling the recipe cook for 5-6 hours on lowNote: Once the oatmeal is done, feel free to add a variety of different toppings. See the ideas listed below.

Oatmeal Combinations:- Cinnamon Raisin crock pot Oatmeal: add raisins before cooking. Stir in ground cinnamon and sweetener of choice (and butter-type spread if desired) after cooking.- Mounds Bar Oatmeal: add shredded coconut, sweetener, and chocolate chips after cooking. Use low fat milk. Slivered almonds optional.- Apple Pie Oatmeal: peel 2 small apples, chop, and add them to the uncooked ingredients along with 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp cinnamon or apple pie spice. After cooking, stir a butter-type spread and sweetener- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Oatmeal: stir 1-2 tbsp peanut butter and 1-2 tbsp jelly into each cooked serving of oatmeal. Pour low fat milk over top just before serving.

Nutrition Information:Per 1/2 cup serving: 75 calories, 1.0 g Total Fat, 48 mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2.5g protein

Quick Breakfast Taco Serving: 1

Ingredients:- 2 tortillas (whole wheat)- 1 tablespoon salsa- 2 tablespoon shredded reduced-fat Cheddar Cheese- 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute (Egg Beaters)

Preparation:- Top tortillas with salsa and cheese. Heat in the microwave until the cheese is melted, about 30 seconds.- Coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat; add egg substitute and cook, stirring, until the eggs are cooking through, roughly 90 seconds. Divide the scrambled egg between the tacos.

Nutrition:Per serving: 153 Calories, 2 g Fat, 15 g Carbohydrates, 17 g Protein, 3 g Fiber, 453 mg Sodium

Citrus Berry Smoothie 1 smoothie, about 2 cups

Ingredients:- 1 1/4 cup fresh/frozen berries- 3/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt- 1/2 cup orange juice- 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk- 1 tablespoon milled flax seed- 1 tablespoon honey- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:- Place berries, yogurt, orange juice, dry milk, wheat germ, honey and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth

Nutrition:Per serving: 432 Calories, 3 g Fat, 77 g Carbohydrate, 20 g Protein, 7 g Fiber, 250 mg Sodium

Satisfying Snacks

Fruity Waffle Bowls 1 serving

Ingredients:- 1 dessert waffle bowl- 1/4 cup cottage cheese or yogurt- 1/3 cup of diced fruit

Directions:- Fill waffle bowl with cottage cheese or yogurt- Top with fruit

Nutrition:134 Calories, 1.6 Total Fat, 250 mg Sodium, 22 g Carbohydrate, 1 g Fiber, 8 g Protein

Dusty Grapes6 Servings

Ingredients:- 3 cups grapes- 1 small box Jell-o Sugar-Free

Directions:- Place frozen grapes in a quart zip lock bag- Add Jell-o Powder- Zip bag and shake well- Keep grapes frozen to prevent condensation

Nutrition:55 Calories, 0 g Total Fat, 15 mg Sodium, 14 g Carbohydrate, 1 g Fiber, 1 g Protein

Peanut Energy BarsServing Size: 1 barYields: 16 bars

Ingredients:- 1/2 cup dry roasted salted peanuts- 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds, or other chopped nuts- 2 cups raisins, or other chipped dried fruit- 2 cups rolled or instant oats- 2 cups toasted rice cereal (Rice Krispies)- 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ- 1/2 cup creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar- 1/2 cup light honey- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:- Coat an 9 by 14 baking pan with cooking spray- Combine peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, oats, rice cereal and wheat germ in a large bowl- Combine peanut butter, brown sugar and honey in a large microwaveable bowl; microwave on high until bubbling. 1 to 2 minutes. Add vanilla and stir until blended. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until coated.- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press down firmly. Let stand for about 1 hour to harden. Cut into bars.

Nutrition:Per Serving: 255 Calories, 9 g Fat, 42 g Carbohydrate, 5 g Protein, 3 g Fiber, 95 mg Sodium