Back to school nutrition basics.

Fall is a busy time at the university and no doubt it’s a busy time at many households across the prairies as kids start back to school.  One of the best things you can do to help your kids enjoy the school experience is to make sure they have a healthy breakfast and lunch.  I still remember my mom making porridge (believe it or not I liked it :)! sprinkled with nuts and raisins and topped with yummy yogurt.  I also remember some pretty amazing sandwiches and crispy crabapples fresh from the tree in our yard.  It’s been (more than) a few years since that happened – what great memories!

There are lots of recipes in the Pure Prairie Eating Plan that would work well for lunches or breakfasts (muffins, cookies, quick and easy breakfasts, sandwiches, pizza).  There are also great resources on line to help you plan and make healthy school lunches.  For example, Eat Right Ontario has a chart with menu ideas for lunches and snacks on their website (click here).

Here’s one of my favourites from PPEP:

Fruity Breakfast Oats – this can be made and served immediately, but one of my favourite things to do is to put the whole thing (fruit, nuts and all) in a jar and put it in the fridge overnight.   Kids could do this up the night before and make their own custom variation with their favourite fruits and nuts.  It carries well, so if you or someone in your family is a late riser, it’s easy to eat on the go.

Serves 4 – Serving Size:  Approximately 2 cups (500 mL)


1 cup (250 mL) quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup (125 mL) milk

1 1/2 cup (375 mL) low-fat fruit yogurt

1/4 cup (60 mL)  maple syrup

1 red apple, peeled and grated

1 ripe pear, peeled and chopped

2 cups (500mL) mixed berries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped almonds (or other nuts) toasted



1.  Combine oats, milk, yogurt, maple syrup, apple and pear together in a large bowl.  Mixture can be covered and refrigerated overnight at this stage.

2.  Add berries and almonds and gently stir to combine.

Nutritional Analysis:  Per Serving: 424 kcal, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 70 g carbohydrate, 8 g fibre, 13 g protein.