07/22/2013 05:24 pm ET Updated Sep 21, 2013

Back to School ALREADY?! These 3 Food Strategies Will Help

It's summer, definitively. The days are long, hot and feeding is easy, well, easier. Summer means tossing everything into a big salad or onto the grill, and the gardens are filled with different nutrition options. It's hard to imagine that we are only weeks away from back to school, but that's reality, so while there are still a few more hours in the day, I thought I'd share these tips to make the transition a little easier.

1. SARS is your best friend. No, not the virus we all feared, but rather 'Some Assembly Required Solutions.' Borrowed from Ikea, SARS saves you time and allows you to provide better-quality eating occasions throughout the day without burning your own candle at both ends. SARS ideas include:

a. Hemp Smoothies: any time of the day. Everyone picks their fruit, their "base" (milk, yogurt, coconut water, etc) and any extras (spices, cacao nibs, nuts) and adds a hemp protein powder (again, they can choose -- flavored or not, extra fiber etc). Blend and go!

b. Cereal Bar: Nope, this isn't a pre-packaged food, this is a concept -- one that saves you time and gets them a better quality breakfast for home or on-the-go, or a snack for midday or an after-school eating occasion option. You stock the house (Hint: Stock them in glass containers and you don't even have to put them into bowls to put out!) with quality ingredients like organic cereals, cacao nibs, organic dehydrated fruits and Hemp Hearts. Place all the containers on the counter or table, give everyone their own container, and let them assemble.

2. Order it and it will come. Did you know that -- especially for your non-perishables -- you can order online and it will arrive while you are doing something else (even sleeping or exercising)?! Yeah, save time at the store and make sure that you always have better quality ingredients on hand at home. What's more, companies like often offer sales so your goods can even cost less than they would at the store. Whatever will you do with your extra time?!

3. Quality and nutrient balance, not calories, matter most for them (and you!). Here's the first lesson plan of the new year. It comes in two parts:

a. Nutrient Balance: Learn to balance nutrients and each eating occasion and you all will have better energy and better health. That means aim for a serving each of carbohydrates, protein, fats and unlimited non-starchy vegetables every time you eat (roughly every three hours). Note that many foods in nature contain more than one nutrient group -- thankfully, you can get all this information easily with my FREE one-page nutrition plan.

b. Quality: Your body's version of making straight A's? That's easy -- giving it better quality choices every time you fuel it up. We call this "Being a Qualitarian," and this should be the year you and your family become Qualitarians, because when we give the body what it recognizes most easily, it rewards us by working most efficiently and effectively.