Healthy Back to School Snacks
The back to school time can be hectic and busy, which can divert our attention from healthy eating.
Sending your children to school with healthy snacks is essential not only to their growth and development, but to their overall success. If they’re accustomed to eating healthy food items, they’re less likely to reach for a bag of chips from the vending machine and will be able to focus in class without a rumbling stomach.
While we often use stress and a lack of time as an excuse against preparing healthy foods, it doesn’t have to be a challenge. Many healthy snacks are easy to prepare ahead of time, either at the beginning of the week or each night.
The goal is to think of a healthy option, including a mix of protein and healthy carbohydrates, and a way to make it quick and easy. If you can’t get your children to eat their healthy snacks, have a conversation with them about what they enjoy and then compromise on something both nutritious and filling.
Here’s a list of quick and easy snacks to prepare for your child’s school day
Apple Slices and Peanut Butter
Pair protein-rich peanut butter with vitamin-packed apple slices to fill your child up at snack time.
Sliced Veggies and Hummus
Slice up carrots, celery, cucumbers or peppers and pair them with a small serving of hummus, which contains healthy fats and protein. For a little crunch, you can also substitute whole grain crackers or pretzels for sliced veggies, although veggies will give you a bigger vitamin boost.
Whole Grain Crackers and Cheese
Pair low-fat cheese with whole grain crackers for a protein and calcium-rich snack. String cheese is easy to throw in your child’s lunchbox, especially because it doesn’t need to be refrigerated during the school day.
Trail mix, minus the chocolate, can be a healthy and filling snack. Look for a healthy mix at the store, some coming in pre-packaged single servings, or make your own at home with a mix of nuts, whole grain granola and dried fruits.
- Cereal: Multi-Grain Cheerios or a low-sugar granola
- Nuts: Almonds, peanuts
- Dried Fruit: Cranberries, raisins
Yogurt and Granola
Similar to crackers and cheese, yogurt and granola is a filling snack due to the mix of protein and complex carbohydrates. Yogurt and granola often hide added sugars, so look for options with less sugar or sweeten plain Greek yogurt with berries.
There’s numerous recipes online for no-bake energy balls, which usually contain a mix of nut butter, such as almond butter, oats, honey, dried fruit, and flax seeds or chia seeds, formed into bite-sized balls. Make these at the beginning of the week and store in the fridge for easy access. This makes another tasty alternative for dessert.