As we make the transition from summer vacation to a new fall routine, I checked in with fellow dietitians to share their top healthy lifestyle tips to make the change as smooth as possible. Here’s what they had to say!

Dr.-Joan-Salge

Rise and Dine

Dr. Joan Salge Blake is a Boston-based registered dietitian and clinical associate professor at Boston University, as well as author of Nutrition & You. Joan and I met a few years ago on an influencer trip and share a love for direct nutrition communications and full-bodied red wine. Joan coaches students on campus to promote healthy living. Rise and dine is one of Joan’s top tips to her clients: “If you skip breakfast, you are starving your brain of the fuel it needs to help you ace your courses. Rise and dine on a bowl of high-fibre whole grain cereal doused with skim milk. Add some protein such as string cheese or a handful of nuts to your meal to fuel your body and brain.”

Gina_Sutherland

Get the Kids Involved

Gina Sutherland is a Winnipeg-based consulting registered dietitian, colleague and friend whom I share fond memories with from an influencer trip in Lodi, California. Gina recommends this for school lunches: “Get kids involved; this age-old rule really works! When kids help plan and make their lunches they are more likely to eat them. Set a family goal to shop on the weekends and complete as much prep work on Sunday afternoon for example, so your family is ready for the next school week. To get school lunches on track, organize lunch items into five different bins to ensure balance. This will save time during the busy school week and works well for students of all ages. Have your child pack their own school lunch in minutes by having them select an item from each bin the night before to prevent morning rush chaos!”

patricia_chuey

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Patricia Chuey is a British Columbia-based registered dietitian and an RD role model. I met Patricia over a decade ago and from time to time have enjoyed her match-making techniques. Patricia cautions parents that busy kids are often not drinking enough. Patricia suggests, “Include water with all meals and snacks. After school is prime time to get fluids into thirsty and hungry kids. A little fruit platter or plate of veggies with a glass of cold water offers great hydration. If kids reject plain water, jazz it up sometimes with a squirt of lemon or real fruit juice, the addition of an orange wedge or berries, or homemade lemonade or iced tea from herbal, caffeine-free tea.”

Robin Plotkin

More Family Meals

Robin Plotkin is a Dallas-based registered dietitian and culinary nutritionist. I met Robin in the press room at a conference about a decade ago and enjoy her no-nonsense approach to nutrition communication. Robin is a strong advocate for meal time. Robin explains, “Studies show that eating meals together not only fosters emotional balance and increases self-esteem, but it has a direct effect on better nutrition and better grades, positive social behaviours and stronger family relationships. Family meals don’t have to be complicated, messy or expensive, but they do require commitment and planning. Go for something simple like sandwiches or soup, or having breakfast for dinner—it’s about sharing the meal together.”

Kelly Springer

Sleep Routine

Kelly Springer is an Upstate New York-based registered dietitian and owner of Kelly’s Choice. I met Kelly on the California Strawberry tour and I continue to admire her nutrition coaching. We know students of all ages can fall short in the sleep routine. Bed routines are important for cognition, moods and overall health. Kelly identifies, “Getting more sleep can be difficult when college students are socializing and studying at night.”

When you don’t get enough sleep it can cause an increase in ghrelin, the hunger-promoting hormone, and a decrease in leptin, the hunger-suppressing hormone, making you crave more food than necessary. For college students, Kelly suggests, “Sleep is just as important as nutrition and research recommends at least seven to eight hours every night. Set a sleep routine and stick to it.”

And Finally – Fitness

I want to wrap with a tip that most of my fellow dietitians recommend – fitness for both you and the kids. As you know, it’s part of my healthy lifestyle equation: energy = food + fitness + sleep. Dr. Joan Salge Blake says it best: “Oftentimes when we are stressed, we reach out for our two best friends: Ben & Jerry. Rather than releasing your stress in the kitchen, walk it off. When you feel wound up, lace up your sneakers and release some of the emotional stresses of your school or work day by going for a brisk walk. Your mind and waist will thank you.”

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