As a teacher, you know throughout the day the hunger cravings can pop up and sometimes the most convenient option is to pop into the teacher’s lounge for a vending machine snack. We have the tips to help educators keep energy and eat healthy throughout the day.
- Drink plenty of water. According to the CDC, staying hydrated can improve cognitive function. Keep a reusable water bottle around to refill throughout the day. Add a lemon or lime wedge for extra flavor!
- Skip the carbs. These may give you a short burst of energy, but are not a good food source for prolonged energy.
- Eat breakfast. Eating a nutrient-rich breakfast will keep your energy level steady until lunch. No time to eat breakfast at home? Try these Grab-and-Go Breakfast Ideas from WeAreTeachers.com
- Avoid coffee. Coffee can cause dehydration. It can also trigger blood sugar issues, leading to that afternoon decline in energy. Try drinking less coffee or trying herbal tea instead.
- Be aware of serving size. Sometimes we consume far more than one serving size. Check nutrition information before eating.
- Control portions. Pack your food the night before using the serving size as your guide; use measuring tools if needed. This way, you are limited to only the amount of food you brought with you. You can accurately keep track of how much you have eaten.
- Eat snacks. Protein-heavy snacks are a good source of lasting energy. Try nuts, cheese, or beef jerky to satisfy your snack cravings. Check out this list of Healthy Snack Ideas from FannetasticFood.com
- Prepare your food the night before. Take the time the night before to pack your lunch and snacks so you don’t make poor, last-minute food decisions during the morning rush to get out of the house. 50 Healthy Lunch Ideas from ReallyGoodStuff.com asked teachers to share their favorite healthy lunches.
- Eat that birthday treat! Elementary teachers know this battle all too well. Treats seem to appear on your desk out of nowhere! They’re hard to resist, but sometimes we just need to indulge ourselves after a long day. Try not to make it a regular habit, but you don’t have to avoid treats every time. You can also take home the treats you don’t eat or can’t finish (sometimes I share them with my family if I’m feeling generous).
- Be an active participant in student Brain Breaks. A recommendation by the CDC says “physical activity breaks in the classroom to help keep students focused and well-behaved.” That means teachers, too. My favorite FREE brain breaks are from GoNoodle.com. Don’t do brain breaks in the classroom? Take a quick walk around the building during plan time.
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