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MARTIN’S shares back to school meal ideas

“When you’re well nourished, that helps energy and motivation to help learning.”
Published: Aug. 30, 2020 at 6:11 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - However your back to school season looks this year, it’s important to make sure the lunches and snacks your children are eating are good for them. For that reason, MARTIN’S Food Markets has put together healthy, affordable and easy meal ideas.

“When you’re well nourished, that helps energy and motivation to help learning,” MARTIN’S Food Markets’ Regional Nutritionist, Joni Rampolla, said. She continued, saying it is important to think of both health and structure when preparing meals.

“When you have structure, which is scheduled meal time, and kids can predict when they’re going to eat their regular meal and their sit down snack,” Rampolla said. “It helps them build up this sense of hunger that they eat well during meals.”

Rampolla uses the My Plate as an outline to help her put together meals. The My Plate is a plate split into sections of the five food groups: protein, grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy.

“Trying to have at least 2-3 food groups every time you eat is helpful,” Rampolla suggests.

MARTIN’S also uses a Guiding Star system, for nutritional navigation. There are stars on every item’s price tags, indicating their nutritional level.

“One star is a good item, two stars is a better nutrition, and three stars is the best nutrition,” Rampolla said.

To name a few, Rampolla says things like eggs, pouched tuna or chicken, different nut butters, fruits and vegetables, as well as certain cereals and crackers, are all great options.

“And there’s always room for something I call just mouth pleasure food, right, it makes you smile,” Rampolla says. “And that’s okay, just try and get all of the nutrition so you have a healthy happy growing kid and self.”

MARTIN’S has specific back to school meal and snack ideas on their website, as well as new instructional online chef classes for kids to show them how to prepare meals themselves.

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