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How to incorporate healthy foods into diets of kids heading back-to-school

Posted at 7:38 AM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 12:10:23-04

SALT LAKE CITY — As kids return to school, FOX 13 News talked about the importance of a healthy diet with a nutrition expert.

Brittany Poulson is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and founder of "Your Choice Nutrition."

She's also a busy mom of four and knows what foods to pick that will save her time while also giving her kids the mental focus and physical stamina they need for class.

Poulson says the day starts with a good breakfast. For cereal fans, she says to select brands that list 100% whole grains or whole foods as the first ingredient.

Cheerios, Corn Chex and Quaker Oatmeal Squares all get the green light from Poulsen. Other great breakfast foods include Kodiak pancake and waffle mix, overnight oats with fruit and eggs.

Bonus points if you can incorporate a leafy green into breakfast.

"I add it to smoothies and I'll call it a hulk smoothie because my boys love superheroes," Poulsen explained. "The third cup of fruits and veggies in every pouch."

Since kids have a long day of classes ahead, Poulsen recommends incorporating carbs, fat and protein into snacks throughout the day.

Balanced Breaks snack packs, Stonyfield Yogurt, granola bars, hummus with veggies, whole grain popcorn and Annie's Cheddar Bunnies are just a few of the Poulsen approved snacks.

If you have a picky eater, Poulsen has a tip for you.

"One thing I always encourage my clients to do is involve your children in the selection and preparation of food," She said. "Because then they are more likely to eat it."

While obesity is a big problem in the U.S., Poulsen warns parents against putting kids on a diet because it can promote disordered eating. Instead, encourage them to get more exercise and teach them about intuitive eating.