GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The new school year is underway, and that can mean new challenges keeping your kids fueled up and healthy.

Breakfast and snacks provide excellent opportunities to ensure your kids get the nutrition they need each day to learn at their best. Carolyn Hudson, a registered dietitian with Midwest Dairy Council, provided some back-to-school information and tips for ensuring that kids are getting nutrient-rich breakfast and snacks.

Here are her recipes and tips:

Homemade low-fat granola with yogurt
Rainbow Fruit and Cheese Skewers
Yogurt and spice muffins

  1. Dairy foods fuel healthy and active kids. Kids need at least three servings of low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt to get adequate calcium and other key nutrients, like potassium and vitamin D.
  2. Eating a healthy breakfast, including nutrient rich foods such as low-fat and fat-free dairy, provides the essential nutrition school kids need to learn at their best. Focus on grab and go foods so that on busy mornings you don't have to cook or prepare anything. One great options is a yogurt and spice muffin, served with a glass of milk. You can make these ahead of time and just warm up. Another option is home-made granola, served with low-fat yogurt.
  3. Nourishment goes beyond breakfast. Snacking on nutrient-rich foods is a smart strategy to keep kids on track to meet nutrient needs and prepare them for after-school activities. Healthy snacking can curb over eating at meal times.
    --Consider a "mom approved snack bowl" in your refrigerator with grab and go food, such as portable yogurts, flavored milks, individually wrapped cheeses, whole or bagged fruits and veggies, granola bars, etc.
    --If you have younger kids, they might enjoy helping you prepare another healthy snack option when they get home from school - fruit and cheese skewers