Now that you’ve picked out the perfect litterless lunch bag for back-to-school, it’s time to study up on snacking! After all, those adorable little portioned compartments aren’t going to fill themselves, right? They’re calling out for the perfect blend of sweet and savory snacks and mains (translation: please, pretty please – just eat it!).
Gone are the days when Cheese Whiz and Saltines cut it as a snack. Today, we’ve got tons of ready-made healthy snack options available to us that pack a nutritional punch and even more recipes for making your own variations on classic lunchbox faves.
So what are some A+ snacks for back to school? Aviva Allen, Kids’ Nutritionist suggests:
- Protein-rich snacks to improve a child’s mood and cognitive function
- Balanced snacks that include a carbohydrate such as fruit or a grain-based food along with protein to help prevent spikes and sudden drops in blood sugar.
- A focus on whole/unprocessed foods
- Inclusion of at least one fruit or vegetable and a source of fat or protein
Here are our top 5 picks for convenient and nutritious snacks to fill those lunch-bags and tummies with everything they need to get through the day. For more inspiration, and a range of lunch ideas for every possible dietary requirement, visit our Love Your Lunch board on Pinterest.
These are a perfect peanut free organic snack to replace other mainstream granola bars that may be higher in sugar and other processed ingredients. Containing the nutrients in one full serving of vegetables from six different sources per bar, they’re also made from whole grains, are non–GMO verified and come in a variety of flavours to delight your little ones.
Replace the salty craving normally associated with chips and goldfish crackers with roasted chickpeas and you’ll never go back! Roasted chickpeas are a versatile snack the whole family will love. They’re high in fibre and protein with a low glycemix index and can be enjoyed on their own, in a snack mix or even as a crunchy salad topper. These options from Three Farmers also come in a variety of delicious flavours like Balsamic & Cracked Pepper or Barbecue!
Look no further for the perfect school snack, or a great option for fueling your kids before after school activities like hockey or dance. With a soy protein base, Simply Protein Kids Bars are low in sugar and made with wholesome, all natural, and simple ingredients and are also vegan, organic, nut-free and gluten free.
Seriously, once your kids try seaweed snacks, you’ll be shocked as they ask for them over and over again. Bursting with flavour and chock-full of vitamins and minerals to keep your little one going all day long, these roasted, seasoned flaky bites offer a savoury sensation they’ll love. Pair seaweed snacks with cut up apple or pear to fill their bellies with a delicious and nutritious whole snack.
DIY Trail Mix
Looking for a way to get your kids to try a variety of flavours? Set up a trail mix assembly line on the counter and get them in on the prep action by making their own custom trail mix. Not only is it fun, and allows them to get creative with their own snacks, but they’re helping you too. The sky’s the limit with DIY trail mixes. Portion-size containers can be loaded up with a great range of healthy nut-free options, including seeds, dried berries, unsweetened coconut, dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs, dried fruit like these Apple Chips from Three Works, hemp hearts, roasted chickpeas and more!
The Secret Ingredient
Lunch always tastes better when it’s made with love, right? The good news is you don’t need to use cookie cutters for cheese and fruit to prove it. Take one more minute to write an ‘I love you’ note to stick in their lunch, or even a riddle or funny drawing to brighten their day that much more. Just knowing you’re thinking about them throughout the day will nourish their souls as much as a good snack will nourish their tummies.
Sheri Helman is a mom of two great kids, living a sassy, suburban life with her husband of almost ten years just north of Toronto. At home, Sheri is constantly striving to make great choices for her family – whether that means deciding what to make for dinner (and how to come up with new recipes her kids will actually eat!) or which environmentally friendly products will get the job done when it comes to cleaning, bathing and everything in between. Catch up with Sheri on her blog: www.babefromtheburbs.com