Make healthy habits one of your top priorities this school year! Here are nine tips to help you do just that!

Your classroom is decorated, supplies are sorted, the Dollar Store has been ravaged, class lists are printed, lockers assigned, books sorted…yes, you feel ready for your students.

Here are nine tips that will help you eat right at school and start the year with healthy habits!

But something is missing. It’s not the glue sticks or index cards…it’s how you are going to care for YOU this school year.

We’ve all seen the faculty lounge — a landmine of donuts, snacks, leftover birthday cake, fast food.

Things that we know we shouldn’t eat, but there they are…glittering with all their delightfully naughty (often day-old) empty calories. Ready to sabotage our greatest resolutions to make healthy food choices this year.

Don't forget yourself when you plan your classroom for the school year. Here are 9 tips for eating right all year long -- and keeping you away from those faculty room temptations!

It’s easy to fall into poor eating habits when you’re hungry.

You plan for your lessons, but do you plan for YOU?

Make some simple plans and provisions to help you avoid the guilt-ridden faculty room snacks this year.

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1. Do this first

If you’re like me and can’t eat first thing in the morning, pack a “breakfast” item for when you are hungry.  

Don’t try to go all morning without eating — that will set you up for a lunch overload!  Especially if some kind soul brought in birthday cake!  

If you are a breakfast eater, try to leave enough time to eat a good one! Pop-tarts really don’t count.

Try this:

Smoothies! They are a great way to get in some fruits and veggies first thing.  Get the ingredients together the night before to make this a truly quick breakfast.  

Don't forget yourself when you plan your classroom for the school year. Here are 9 tips for eating right all year long -- and keeping you away from those faculty room temptations!

2. Set yourself up for success

You’ll be more likely to stay away from the vending machine or Mrs. Walter’s candy dish if you have your own stash of healthy snacks.

Try this:

Keep non perishable healthy snacks in your desk. Trail Mix (careful if you have a nut-free or peanut free school or classroom), pretzels, dried apricots or granola bars make quick snacks.

Keep in mind this is a snack, not a meal since dried fruit and nuts are calorie dense.

3. Healthy hydration

Drink water.  Yes, teachers have an uncanny ability to go for looooong stretches without using the bathroom, so drinking water may sound like a recipe for an emergency.  

Try this:

Have water at your desk rather than coffee or soda (I love this mug that I got at the hospital!) .  You don’t want to rely on caffeine to get you through the day.

Don't forget yourself when you plan your classroom for the school year. Here are 9 tips for eating right all year long -- and keeping you away from those faculty room temptations!

4. What’s in the bag?

Plan your lunch (and lunch your plan!).

Try this:

I love the salad in a mason jar recipes.  

You can make five salad on Sunday for a week’s worth of lunches.  If that’s not your style, frozen meals can be stashed in your home or school freezer.  Or plan dinner leftovers for lunch.  

Packing your own lunch will help you eat better and save you money! Invest is a thermos for leftovers or soup.

Don’t forget:

And…if you’re planning to pack your lunch this year — buy yourself a cute lunchbox!! That has to be one of the most fun purchases for the start of the year!!

5. Eating clean

Bring some fresh fruit or vegetables along with your lunch.  Those baby carrots are good, but your grocery store probably stocks other prepared portions of fruits and vegetables.  

These can get pricey — but if this will keep you away from donuts, it might be worth it!  If you have time the night before, cut up your apple, peach, or carrot sticks.

Don't forget yourself when you plan your classroom for the school year. Here are 9 tips for eating right all year long -- and keeping you away from those faculty room temptations!

6. Involve the fam

You don’t have to do this alone!

If you have children who take lunch to school, they can help out with the process — ideally the night before.  This certainly simplifies the next morning.

Try this:

If your team is up for it, why not have a monthly lunch with healthy food choices?

7. What’s your “Lesson” plan

You make weekly plans! You can do this!

Plan a simple weekly menu that you can use for lunches and dinners.  Save your weekly plans and reuse them when you can.  A study from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reports that people who eat at home have healthier diets.  

Try this:

Always wanted to try a dinner subscription service? Here’s the perfect opportunity!

No real surprise there, but it might make you feel a little better when you’re making dinner!  The real beauty of a weekly menu is that it won’t sabotage your healthy eating goals.  There are lots of menu planners and templates available online, but just keep it simple.

8. Don’t get hangry

You don’t want to be hungry, so the extra bag of carrot sticks, nuts, or an apple that you might not eat at lunch will come in handy when you decide to stay late at school to grade projects or meet with a team member.  

Don't forget yourself when you plan your classroom for the school year. Here are 9 tips for eating right all year long -- and keeping you away from those faculty room temptations!

Try this:

Pay attention to your triggers when you eat. I always want chocolate when I’m grading papers!!

9. Moderation

All things in moderation!  

Just like with your students, everything won’t go as planned.  

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a donut or piece of birthday cake.

Keep at it though!

Let’s not wait until January to make resolutions to eat better.  Why not start the very first day of school!  

Set a plan to take care of yourself this year!

What are some healthy choices you’ll make this year?

7 Comments on Healthy Teacher: 9 Tips for Eating Right

  1. Sometimes our lives get so busy when we go back to school, that we really don’t eat right. Thank you so much for these wonderful tips. Have a great school year.

  2. Thanks for the reminder. We all tend to take care of others-especially this time of year. Wouldn’t it be great to change the norm of junk food in the staff room to healthy food? Stress seems to bring on the desire to eat terribly. I’m off to buy fresh fruit!!

  3. This post came in perfect timing; we just started back to school this week and yes, already there are donuts, muffins, etc!! So important to plan ahead and pack all my healthy food so I’m not as tempted!! Thanks for a great reminder!

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