physiolife.jpgJust because the next family vacation has to wait for the winter holiday break doesn’t mean the healthy habits you enjoyed while traveling can’t become a part of your family’s routine at home. It always seems so easy to work in exercise, healthy eating and other healthy habits during a family vacation. You swim, you hike, you play, you have fun as a family when you’re traveling with kids. But once the vacation Is over and the kids are back In school, it gets harder to stay active, exercise and eat right.

These back to school tips from a nutrition pro can help you and your family keep exercising and eating right all year long.

Plan your exercise
With a busier schedule you may be more likely to let exercise go by the wayside. Schedule exercise like a meeting and you will be more likely to do it.  As much as I used to hate my alarm going off at 5:30 a.m., I found that morning workouts were the best during the school year. I had a better day because of it and at 4:30 p.m. when I got home I knew my workout was done and being tired would not be an excuse to skip it.

Eat breakfast
Even if you don’t have time to make breakfast, it’s possible to get a healthy start to your day with great grab-and-go things to take with you in the morning. Try a hard boiled egg with some berries, or almond butter on a piece of fruit or a smoothie with protein powder and ground flax seeds.

Pack your lunch
Don’t count on cafeteria food being healthy and heading out to the local deli or pizza shop can also derail your diet. While you are making dinner also make your lunch for the following day so you always have it ready to go. Make extra dinner so you have leftovers for lunch.

Plan your snacks
Keep healthy snacks handy. Think of them a mini meals, balanced with protein and healthy fats.  I call them Power Meals.  They will sustain you longer.  Hard boiled eggs, raw nuts, protein shake, or trail mix can be great snacks to have at that 3 o’clock hour when hunger strikes. If you know that when you get home you are starving and will eat everything in sight, then have some nuts, a fruit and nut bar, or even half a sandwich before you drive home to suppress your hunger until dinner time.

Limit the purchase of processed, packaged foods
Begin to read labels; you may be surprised by the sugar, sodium and other additives in the most common foods we bring into the kitchen.

Melissa Bowman Li, is a owner of PhysioLife Studios, Registered Dietitian, Certified Trainer and mom of 3 boys.