My students follow a trimester schedule, which means that finals week is coming up very quickly! I’ve noticed, over the past few weeks, that they are bringing more convenience foods to snack on during class… especially fast food and “bars” of all sorts (candy, energy, granola, etc.). Although these foods serve a purpose, usually a quick fix on-the-go, there are certainly better choices available. Here’s the kicker: My students are all studying nutrition to become registered dietitians! Intrigued, I asked a couple of them why they made these choices. The answer? The same that any of us would give – they’re busy, stressed, not getting enough sleep, and don’t have any time.
As a teacher and registered dietitian, I know that proper nutrition fuels academic performance and helps our bodies cope with stress (work, school, family, the holidays). So follow the suggestion we came up with for when life gets in the way of healthful decisions: Take a few minutes. Just a few! Before those days when you’re going to be pressed for time, stop at the grocery store for ten minutes. Pick up a jar of peanut butter, whole grain bread, some low-fat yogurt, and a couple handfuls of convenient fruits and veggies. Pick produce that you can slip into a bag or briefcase, snack on between classes or meetings, and that can be cut onto a sandwich or dipped into peanut butter or yogurt. Try pears, tangerines, bananas, carrots, celery sticks, and cherry tomatoes. Your body and mind will thank you!