Teachers, are you eating healthy meals every day? Each morning thousands of educators hurry out of their homes without eating breakfast. For many, the norm is a cup of coffee and maybe a donut. Later in the day, they often skip lunch, too. Then once at home, they’re also too tired to cook a healthy meal for dinner. Teachers, principals, and administrators it’s time to make better choices by eating healthy meals. Eating healthy is best practice.
Teachers, you often talk to students about eating healthy foods. However, many days you skip essential meals, too. You neglect your health by not eating nutritious foods. On a typical morning, you’re busy getting your family prepared for the day. You dress your children and make breakfast for them. Then it’s time to get everyone out of the house and drop off kids at school. Afterward, you speed across town to arrive at work on time. When do you have time to sit down to eat a healthy meal for breakfast?
In the long run, not eating healthy meals is detrimental to your health. The statement “You are what you eat,” is correct. Missing meals, eating fast foods, or snacking on junk food is not the way to go. The food that you eat affects your physical and emotional health. Healthy foods feed your mind and body. So, how does a busy educator make better food choices and eating habits?
First, eat a healthy meal for breakfast. Plan your meals. Make a grocery list and go shopping. On your list of breakfast foods add fresh fruits, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, nuts granola, and almond or coconut milk. Also, you can buy frozen fruit to make smoothies. Keep your breakfast plan simple, so preparation time is minimal.
Many people don’t understand how hectic teachers’ schedules can be on a daily basis. During a regular school day, downtime is wishful thinking. So, teachers keep healthy snacks close. If you miss breakfast, keep healthy snacks in your car. Put an apple, pear, or banana in your bag. Keep healthy snacks in a plastic container in your cabinet or desk. Do not be tempted to buy chips, cookies, or candy. Remember, you’re eating healthy!
Next, prepare your lunch the night before. For example, Monday evening you will make Tuesday’s lunch. Put the lunch meal in the fridge. Don’t forget to put it in your bag before leaving out in the morning.
When writing your grocery list include foods for lunch. Think ahead about what you want to eat for lunch. Think healthy! Do you prefer sandwiches, salads, soups, hot or cold meals? Based on your preferences purchase healthy foods on your list.
Eating healthy requires planning. You can use the same premise for preparing dinner. However, over the weekend you can cook several meals for dinner. Keep the meals fresh by putting them in airtight food containers. Then eat the meals as needed.
Lastly, drink healthy beverages. Don’t live on coffee, teas or other caffeinated drinks. Also, don’t fill up with soda and juices. Many are high in sugar or fructose. Read the labels. Water is you best option. Drinking water is healthy! Yes, it is bland and annoying, but it helps your body to flush out impurities. Infuse the water with fresh fruit to add flavor. Now, drink it up!
Some people think eating healthy can be boring; however, it doesn’t have to be. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you eat the same things over and over. You can cook and eat a variety of foods and still make healthy choices. Research dietary guidelines to see what’s best practices. Check out the website http://www.eatright.org/resources/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate for more information.
Practice what you preach! How many times do you talk to your students about eating healthy foods and snacks? You take care of your students, but not yourself. It’s time to take care of yourself. Eat healthily and you will feel better physically and emotionally.
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Whole Kids Foundation
Eat Right Foundation
When Teachers Are Healthy, Everyone Benefits
By Nancy Brown
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