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Notebooks, lunches, snacks and sacks (get prepping!)

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 0218-08-09

No matter how old you are, whether you have kids or not, this time of year holds a back-to-school air that’s undeniable.

Can you feel it too?
Today I’ve got some tips to help your transition that I don’t want you to miss!

My boy, Gilbert, still has a few more weeks before he loads up his backpack and heads off to the first day of his senior year of high school, yet my mind is already on his long days away and lunch sacks to pack (which he now does on his own). Many of our clients in the Functional Nutrition Alliance Clinic have already heard the first-day-of-school bell ring!

It can be hard when the lazy days of summer give way to the mad rush of getting everyone out the door on time with a nourishing breakfast in their belly and a healthy lunch in tow. I get it!

And then there’s the end-of-day challenge of having dinner on the table when your crew convenes for the family meal.

Though easier said than done, I definitely like to think ahead, lay some ground rules and consider my daily habits…

Taking time to cultivate the ‘core basics’ (good food, ample sleep, movement, and stress management, just to name a few), for each person in our families helps us with a smooth start to the school year. These customs and routines provide a bit more ease through the entire school year.

Thinking of fueling our kids also calls to mind a favorite quote of mine…
“The number one medicine for my patients? FOOD! If I could find something better, I’d use it.”~Functional medicine pioneer Mark Hyman, MD

Sadly we’re not a culture that’s tapping into this pharmacy—for ameliorating the stress of school’s demands or for fighting the colds and flus that strike this time of year.

As parents (and caretakers of our own bodies) we’ve become complacent, indulgent and (let’s face it), too busy to turn our attention to true healing on a meal-by-meal basis.

The current societal swing brings a lot of pressure and we as parents are concerned that our child will be “different” among their peers if we use what we know about food choices to think of their lunchbox as a portable pharmacy for ample energy, focus and resilience.

As a result, we may very well be overlooking the fact that we’re the ones, right here, right now, that have a strong hand in informing the health, longevity and disease prevention for our kids.

Feel empowered that you get to make the choice at least three times a day to say ‘yes’ to vibrant health for you and your family.

  1. Make time for a breakfast that really is for champions!

  2. Pack those loving lunches!

  3. Get a delicious dinner on the table that everyone will eat!

I know, I know that’s the tricky part (especially the “everyone will eat” part of the equation) but I aim to help with that today.

I often joke that I’m rough and tumble in the kitchen, rarely follow a recipe and often come up with concoctions that certainly aren’t blog-worthy, (you likely won’t see me sharing photos on Instagram of my morning plantain toast and tea or my often brown-in-color smoothie…)

But I do have a few key tips that keep my kitchen well-stocked with ready-to-go-meals so I always have an answer when my not-so-little kid asks, “hey, what’s for dinner?”

Print it and bring it to the dinner table tonight so you can consider what might work for you and your family.

Maybe your kids will be more keen on eating their quinoa if they play a part in cooking it!

And don’t be fooled into thinking that you just have to employ these tactics when (and if) the kids are around… I recommend you tack it up no matter. Your food pharmacy doesn’t need to be a forgotten fantasy even if you’re a household of one!

Here’s your homework for the week (it is back to school time after all…)

    1. Grab your copy of my Top 10 Tips for Quick Food Prep

    2. Give one or two of these tips a go this week on a day when you have time. Sundays are my favorite prep day but find what works best for you.

    3. If your kids are older, invite them to participate. They just might dig dinner more if they take part in preparing it.

    4. And if you’ve already got your kitchen groove going with some food prep tips of your own, share them with me. Seriously, I always want more.

Post the secrets to your kitchen success over at the FxNA Facebook page and let’s get prepping together!

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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