Are you feeling run down and tired? Are you finding it hard to focus in through the day? It might be time to start meal planning for teacher wellness. By carving out a few minutes each week to plan your meals, you can make sure that you are eating the nutrients you need to stay energized and focused.
As a teacher, you often put yourself last. You may think that there is no time for you to eat healthy or exercise, but that is not true! If you plan ahead, you can have healthy meals and snacks even when you're short on time. In this post, we'll provide some tips for creating a teacher-focused meal plan. So, read on about how to plan your meals and get started today!
1. Choose a day to plan.
Sunday may be a perfect day to plan for the breakfasts and lunches for the work week ahead. It may feel daunting to prepare for five days, so try a two-day plan or a three-days-plan to begin with. Here are the diet component tips that will get you started on your meal plan;
Include fruits and vegetables on your plate.
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber—additionally, a combination of fruits and vegetable act as a good antioxidant. The US Department of Agriculture recommends to make sure that half of your plate content should be vegetables and fruit. You will reap more nutritional benefits when you make your plate as colorful as possible with different fruits.
Examples of fruits and vegetables you must include in your diet include blueberries for digestion improvement and lower cholesterol, red carrots, tomatoes, leafy greens, and carotenoids.
Include Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are vital in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Additionally, herbs and spices have more antioxidants compared to fruits and vegetables. Cinnamon is an example of a spice that helps reduce blood sugar levels, improves your heart health, and reduces cognitive decline. Ginger and basil are herbs that aid digestion and prevent inflammation.
2. Include immunity boosters in your meals.
It is not enough to wash our hands with soap, you need to keep your immune strong to fight off the pesky viruses that students are more than willing to share. Some immunity building foods to eat daily include oranges, grapes, strawberries, broccoli, spinach, yogurt, almonds and of course, garlic and ginger.
3. Include healthy protein choices.
Protein is crucial in your diet because it provides amino acids required to make antibodies, an immune system component. You can get animal-based protein from beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy products, and plant-based protein such as tofu, gluten, nuts/seeds, and legumes, to mention a few. Generally, if you skip breakfast or exclude proteins from your breakfast, you miss out on your protein needs for the day. Failure to take an adequate amount of protein regularly makes your body take what it needs from the muscles, leaving you weak.
4. Make sure to include adequate iron.
Anemia, which results from insufficiency in iron intake, is prevalent in the US. Research estimates indicate that around ten million people in the US are iron deficient, half of which have iron deficiency. Low iron intake will lead to fatigue, dizziness, and headache, and you may also experience cold on both hands and feet. It is possible to prevent this by taking sufficient iron in your menu plan by eating iron-rich animal products like chicken liver, oysters, sardines, turkey, and veal. Plant products rich in iron like bread, cereals, tofu, baked potato, and split peas. The body sufficiently absorbs Animal-based iron foods. Still, the best way to ensure the iron is adequately absorbed is by taking these foods rich in iron and combining them with vitamin C on your menu.
5. Eat Foods rich in vitamin B-12
Teaching involves many mobile activities meaning that you have to stand and walk around at times. Lack of vitamin B-12 leads to fatigue, trouble walking, and weakness, which you would not want as an educator. Vitamin B-12 is essential in the prevention of Megaloblastic Anemia. If you suffer from vitamin B-12 deficiency for a prolonged time, you may suffer from permanent neurological damage. You will find vitamin B-12 in animal foods such as eggs, meats, cheese, seafood, and dietary supplements.
6. Focus on mood lifters.
As is life, there will be bad days at school, but did you know you could contribute to making it less harsh? One way to be in a good mood is to ensure that you have had enough quality sleep. Quality sleep helps you rest your physical body and brain. Your meal plan should also be so that the preparation of the meals on the schedule does not interfere with your sleep time.
Secondly, your mood is also affected by Omega 3 fatty acids in your meal plan. These Omega 3 fatty acids in seafood like fish, fortified eggs, and fortified foods.
Another mood lifter is sufficient Vitamin D. Low levels of Vitamin D are likely to lead to depression. A depressed teacher is a non-performing teacher. Vitamin D foods on your menu should include fattier fish, for example, Salmon, and fortified foods like milk and orange juice.
7. Have healthy foods readily available for your day.
Make sure that you have plenty of healthy options available in your fridge and pantry. You can prepare them the day before and carry them to school with you for a quick snack. Also leave healthy snacks like nuts in your car for a quick bite and to re-energize.
8. Subscribe to monthly self-care that assists with a healthy focus!
Save time by having wellness tips brought to you! Teacher Care Crate is a monthly subscription box curated thoughtfully and specifically for teacher's self-care and mental health. It is your monthly reminder to practice self-care. Each month's crate includes digital downloads for teacher (and student) use, inspirational art, bath & body items, on-trend accessories, and nourishing treats to make your teacher heart happy! The July Freshly Squeezed Teacher Care Crate digital downloads include teacher meal planners and healthy food focused bulletin board layouts for your classroom! Subscribe today!
As a teacher, you may need to thoughtfully create a meal plan strategy similar to your classroom lesson plans. Lesson plans take time, and making the time to take care of yourself should be a priority. The most important part of your meal plan is the nutrition content, and creating a tasty plan you will enjoy. Using the nutrition tips above in your meal plan, you will be rejuvenated and energized to work like the champion you are!