Back to school season is right around the corner and it’s time to go shopping – pick out new school supplies, back-to-school outfits, a new backpack, and a new lunch box. It’s also time to stock up on the groceries and pack up those lunchboxes with some yummy snacks. When grocery shopping we tend to reach for the easy snacks like chips and cookies because who has time to prepare snacks? Unfortunately many of these in-store snack packs don’t offer a lot of nutritional value. Luckily there are many nutritional snacks you can pack for your child that are quick and easy.
So this year ditch the chips, sugar filled cookies, sodium filled crackers, and the afterschool pizza rolls – check out these 10 healthy snacks to keep the kids energized throughout the day.
Carrot Sticks and Hummus. Who doesn’t love hummus? Most of us enjoy dipping some sort of pita bread or chip into hummus, unfortunately pita is not always the healthiest choice. Try dipping some carrots into your hummus! Dipping carrots or other veggies into hummus will still allow you to get all of the fiber and antioxidants this creamy chickpea spread has to offer.
Kale Chips. Since we don’t want your kids to go cold-turkey from having potato chips there’s an alternative snack that is healthy and crunchy – kale chips! Kale is a leafy superfood gilled with many necessary nutrients. You can buy these or make them at home by breaking the kale into pieces, toss them in olive oil, spread them evenly on a cookie sheet and make them at 350°F (about 175°C) for 10–12 minutes.
Hard-Boiled Eggs. Hard-Boiled eggs are a great quick afternoon snack for kids due to their nutritional benefits. Eggs are a good source of protein and contain many vitamins and minerals. Just boil up some eggs and put them away in the refrigerator until your kids get back from school.
Cottage Cheese. This quick snack is packed with protein, selenium, vitamin B12 and calcium. Calcium is very important for developing bones in children. Additionally B12 is also important for the growth and brain development in children. This creamy snack is soft enough for children of all ages to consume.
Nuts. This little snack surprisingly contains healthy fats, which is important due to the support it has in the growth of children. Nuts are also filled with fiber and antioxidants. So just toss them into a Ziploc bag and it’s ready to go.
Oatmeal. Not only is oatmeal a healthy breakfast, but it also makes a great afternoon snack. Oatmeal is high in fiber, which encourages an increase of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Make sure to throw in some fruit for some added health benefits and flavor!
A Piece of Fruit. This snack is super easy – no prepping necessary. Most fruits such as, apples, pears, bananas, and grapes, are filled with many important nutrients – especially for a growing child.
Bell Peppers and Guacamole. Bell peppers are a sweet vegetable that are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and carotenoids. Carotenoids are a natural plant chemical that has many health benefits, specifically for eye health. Just dip them into guacamole for some added flavor!
Turkey Avocado Roll. This savory snack is packed with many nutrients and is super filling. Turkey is packed with protein, while avocado is full of heart-healthy fats, vitamin C and K, and antioxidants. Just wrap a piece of turkey around a sliced piece of avocado and voilà, it is ready to eat!
Frozen Fruit Popsicles. Regular store-bought popsicles are filled with sugar – making your own can be a healthy alternative. Just throw some frozen fruits into a blender, let it go until it has a liquid consistency, pour them into some popsicle molds, and freeze them overnight. Now you have a tasty treat for tomorrow!
Of course, we all have our off days – you might have slept through your alarm or your morning routine is just not going as planned, and now you have to toss in a bag of veggie chips into the lunchbox – its ok! We do encourage you to try replacing the pre-packed snacks as much as possible. These nutrients will help your kids get the energy they need to get through the day, while improving their long-term health!
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