3 Ways to Be Healthier During the School Week
Written by: Nazima Qureshi RD, MPH
A regular school week can get quite busy with classes, homework, and even after
school activities. While eating healthy may not always be the first thing on your
mind, providing your body with adequate nutrition can actually help you do better
in school. The good news is, it doesn’t have to take out a lot of extra time from your
busy schedule. Here are 3 ways you can eat healthier during the school week:
1. Pack your own snacks.
While many students may pack their own lunches, snacks are often forgotten. This
may lead to grabbing packaged snacks that are often high in sugar/sodium, fat, and
calories. Many packaged snacks offer very little nutritional value. Instead, pack one
of these snacks for more nutrition and for a quick boost of energy:
- Grab n’ go fruit that is easy to eat (apple, banana, pear, clementine)
- Carrot sticks + hummus
- Plain Greek yogurt + berries
2. Carry your own water bottle.
As important as it is to eat healthy, what you drink is just as important too!
Beverages such as pop, juice, and caffeinated drinks have a LOT of sugar. Did you
know that 1 can of pop has over 9 teaspoons of sugar? Instead, reach for water
whenever you can. One way to ensure you are getting enough water throughout the
day is by carrying your own water bottle with you wherever you go. Buy a water
bottle that you like and you’ll be more likely to pack it in your bag with the rest of
3. Limit store bought lunches to once a week.
Buying lunch can feel like the easy option, especially if you are rushing out the door
every morning. The local plaza near your school may not always have healthy
options. If you’re buying lunch multiple times a week, you are missing out on the
opportunity to have wholesome and nutritious lunches to help you feel more
energized for the rest of the school day.
Buying lunch with friends can be fun so instead of never buying lunch again, try and
limit the store-bought lunches to once a week where you and your friends can select
a lunch option you will really enjoy. For the rest of the week, try to pack your lunch
the night before, so it is ready for you to grab as you rush out in the morning.
For a healthy lunch idea, try this recipe for Salad in a Jar:
Salad in a Jar
Recipe by: Nazima Qureshi
Makes: 3 servings
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp white vinegar
¼ tsp dried basil
pinch of black pepper
1 red pepper, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped
½ cup of broccoli, chopped
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 Tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
1.5 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup spinach
1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, dried basil, and black pepper in a
bowl. Whisk until well combined.
2. Use 3 large mason jars to layer your salad and divide ingredients evenly in the
Layer 1: Salad dressing
Layer 2: red pepper, carrots, cucumber, broccoli
Layer 3: chickpeas
Layer 4: feta cheese
Layer 5: quinoa
Layer 6: spinach
3. Cover mason jars with lids and store in refrigerator until ready to eat. Good for up
to 1 week.
If you are a South Asian adolescent interested in learning more about nutrition and
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Please visit Diabetes Canada for detailed information about Type 2 Diabetes, including:
Signs and symptoms
Treatment and management