Teachers are some of the busiest people in the world, and their hectic schedules have a tendency to impact their diets. The food you eat affects more than just your basic health – it also affects your energy levels and your ability to be productive. Healthy eating habits will make you better for yourself and better for your students.
Teachers get up before the birds, and they often work long into the night. A lot of teachers don’t feel like preparing themselves a healthy breakfast in the morning, which leads to a lot of convenience food or even skipping breakfast entirely. Keeping simple healthy things in the fridge that you can grab and eat on the go is a must. Fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, and granola are quick and easy to toss together. It’s filling and nutritious.
When lunchtime seems too far away or you feel a little more hungry than usual, make sure you have access to healthy snacks. If your school has vending machines, it feels easy to rely on junk food that you can grab and go. A lot of offices are providing healthy snacks External link for their employees – why not run the idea by your higher ups?
Packing your lunch will save you time and money. It doesn’t need to be complicated. By throwing greens, healthy grains, and lean proteins together into a flavorful bowl, you only have one thing to microwave. You might even prefer to eat it cold. Salads, burrito bowls, and ramen bowls are cheap, easy, and healthy.
If you have papers to grade and lessons to plan the moment you get home, you probably don’t have the time and energy to prepare a big meal. Spend your weekends putting together freezer meals External link , and get yourself a slow cooker. Throw them in and turn on the slow cooker when you get home, and by dinner time, everything will be ready for you.
A lot of teachers rely on coffee and tea throughout the day. If these are prepared without a ton of sugar, they’re not entirely bad for you. The problem is with soda and juices that deceptively pack a caloric punch. Keep a water bottle with a fruit infuser at your desk. You can refill it a few times for naturally flavored water External link that won’t integrate a ton of unnecessary calories into your diet.
Routines are important to teachers. They help them work efficiently. One area in your life where you don’t want to adhere to routine is with your diet. Eating a wider variety of foods incorporates more nutrients into your diet. If you’re trying to eat more lean protein, don’t limit yourself to chicken. Incorporate turkey and different kinds of fish. Swap out your traditional lettuce salad for a spinach based salad to improve your iron intake. Variety is the spice of life.
Being too strict in your diet might make you go a little crazy. If you want a piece of cheesecake or some pizza occasionally, go for it. You can use it to reward yourself for grading all of those exams. If you associate indulgent foods with victories, it might even inspire you to work a little harder. A burger can be a great motivator if you haven’t had one in a while.
You spend a lot of time taking care of your students, but you don’t have to spend a lot of time taking care of yourself. A few common sense based practices and a little planning ahead can help you give your body the food it needs, so you can fuel yourself through the school year.