Whole Foods Market Offers Healthful Solutions for Busy Back-to-School Routines

Whole Foods Market,the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, is sending students of all ages to the head of the class with a variety of tools to help stay on the nutritional track during the busy back-to-school season.

Aug 7, 2007 09:50

AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market,the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, is sending students of all ages to the head of the class with a variety of tools to help stay on the nutritional track during the busy back-to-school season.

By going beyond the typical offerings that target the K-12 back-to-school set, Whole Foods Market is offering two handy brochures packed with coupons and information. While one brochure offers nutritional guidance to kids, tweens and teens, the other is specifically tailored to college students. The Company will also produce back-to-school themed podcasts and offer tasty recipes sure to help fortify brain power during the school year.

Some of the highlights of the back-to-school information featured in August and September at Whole Foods Market stores and online at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/backtoschool:

Beginning with Breakfast


Jump start a busy day of learning with a high fiber, low sugar meal that contains some protein. Studies have shown that children who regularly eat breakfast are more likely to meet their recommended dietary intake for vitamins and minerals.(1) "Eating breakfast helps promote regular meal patterns and consistent energy intake, and that has a positive effect on academic performance," said Jody Villecco, Whole Foods Market food and nutrition quality standards coordinator. "Substantial whole grain cereals such as oatmeal or muesli make great choices for breakfast since they provide a sustained release of energy until lunchtime. Also, look for cereals with added nuts or seeds to sneak in even more protein."

Whole Foods Market hosts a podcast on the importance of breakfast beginning August 6th (http://wholefoodsmarket.com/socialmedia/podcast) as well as an online breakfast planner at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/backtoschool.

Easy Ways to Squeeze in the Good Stuff

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold alone.(2) Since picky eaters, harried schedules, and food allergies are the reality of everyday life for most families, healthy preparation is key to help avoid getting sick.

A balanced, healthy diet can be a tough bill to fill every day; if more "insurance" is in order, supplements might be a good idea. The American Medical Association recommends that everyone take a multivitamin daily(3). Carefully read multivitamin labels since some chewables can be loaded with sugar or artificial colors and flavors. At Whole Foods Market, we do the homework for shoppers -- our supplements as well as the food we sell must meet strict quality standards, and that includes no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives, or hydrogenated fats.

When thinking of your family's nutritional needs, consider also whether you are getting enough "good bacteria" or probiotics and essential fatty acids like omega-3s. "Probiotics, such as Acidophilus, are strains of good bacteria that help support healthy levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut and intestines," said Dr. Holly Lucille, licensed naturopathic physician in California specializing in women's wellness and family medicine, "The intestine houses millions of friendly bacteria, which is very important for the immune system, since much of our immune system is housed in the intestines. Your immune system, good digestion and proper nutrient absorption depend on these friendly bacteria." Beneficial bacteria can be found in yogurt, unpasteurized sauerkraut, kefir and other fermented foods as well as in supplement form.

Essential fatty acids (EFA), particularly omega-3s, are linked to many of the body's supportive functions for the development and health of the brain, heart, nervous system, tissues, skin and immune system. The omega-3 called DHA is especially important for school-age children. Often called "brain food," EFAs can be found in oily fish like salmon and sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, and are available as supplements.

For more information, Whole Foods Market hosts back-to-school podcasts with experts on probiotics (with Dr. Lucille), EFAs, and nutrition.

Lunchbox Solutions

Growing bodies and brains need fiber, good quality protein and nutrients to stay healthy. In fact, the USDA's "5 a Day" campaign for veggies and fruits was recently increased to NINE a day.(4)

Think outside the sandwich for a healthier, more creative lunch by filling a wide-mouthed thermos with sushi, macaroni and cheese with steamed broccoli, or chili. Assemble a "meal on the run" with a whole grain bagel and soft goat cheese or cream cheese and an applesauce cup. For more lunchbox solutions, pick up Whole Foods Market's back-to-school coupon brochure and also find creative recipes for cool school fuel on our Web site: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/.

Beating the Freshman 15

The Freshman 15 is now looking like the Freshman 30. From stress and eating on a budget to time constraints and dining halls offering a little too much comfort, healthy eating in college takes some skill and determination. Pick up a free back-to-school brochure in your local Whole Foods Market store with coupons covering housekeeping, bodycare and tasty pantry basics as well as ways to avoid the Freshman 15.

In addition, three Whole Foods Market Team Members who are either still in school or are fresh out of college share some words of wisdom on a podcast available August 13. They discuss smart ideas on equipment no dorm room should be without (air popcorn popper and a crock pot!) to tips on how to navigate dining halls.

For more great ideas on how to jump start the back-to-school season and make the transition seamless as well as find some mouth-watering recipes that can be assembled quickly, visit http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/backtoschool. Listen to Whole Foods Market's back-to-school podcasts at http://wholefoodsmarket.com/socialmedia/podcast.

Web site: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/