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Smart Food Choices for Back to School

You don't have to be a kid to benefit from these simple tips that will guide you in choosing healthier, tastier foods. Thanks to our partner Chef Ann Cooper and The Lunch Box for championing healthy food for school lunches and for pulling this list together.
  1. Choose meat, poultry and dairy products with no added hormones or antibiotics. Read the label carefully, or choose organics to be sure.
  2. Fish around for safer, more sustainable seafood. Know the source. Ask about mercury content. When choosing farm raised, look for no added hormones or antibiotics.
  3. Trade hydrogenated oils and trans fats for healthier fats, including olives, nuts and nut butters, avocados, seeds, eggs and certain types of fish.
  4. Favor fresh fruits and veggies, particularly organics, and eat a rainbow of colors. When you need a shortcut, choose frozen over canned.
  5. Skip the artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners. Savor the taste of unadulterated real foods.
  6. Lighten up on refined sugar. Satisfy a sweet tooth with fresh or dried fruit.
  7. Avoid high-fructose corn syrup. You may be surprised where you find it, so always check the label.
  8. Go for whole grains instead of white flour. You'll get more fiber, and in many cases more protein and essential vitamins.
  9. Say no to genetically modified organisms when you can. The easiest way to avoid them is to choose organic.
  10. Nix the nitrates and nitrites added to meats. Whole Foods Market offers meats with no added nitrates or nitrites.
Learn more about how little choices can make a big difference on our Back to School pages. What smart food choices are you making this year?

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sippitysup says …

Yes! YES! Melons are key. Here is my latest melon obsessed "summer lovin' had me a blast" recipe. http://www.sippitysup.com/market-matters-persian-melon-feta-salad-mint-pine-nuts You could use any sweet melon. I chose Persian. GREG

Denise St. John says …

Skip making anything and head straight for the food bar. There's all kinds of yummy foods already prepared but you better get there before 7:30 p.m. when they start taking the prepared foods away. My favorite are the cakes...to die for!

Rebecca says …

We have recently made a lot of changes listed here. For us the removal of High Fructose Corn Syrup and limiting food colorings has made a huge difference, especially as they both contain hidden sulfites. I am about to share this on our Schools Health and Wellness page on Facebook.