In addition to packing MJ a school lunch, kindergarteners are required to have a snack at morning recess. In my quest to find healthy snack ideas without duplicating the same ol’ foods, I got great tips in this guest post from Giraffe.
Going back to school for the new term is always an exciting time for parents and children both. Children are always excited to show off their new school clothes, meet the teacher and catch up with their friends. For most parents, the main concern is making sure that all of the back-to-school paperwork is filled out properly and turned in on time. Equally as important to parents is choosing the best and most nutritious snacks for their children that will keep their energy up and mood stable during the long school day. If your child attends public school, it is inevitable that your child may encounter a child with a food allergy, or maybe your child is the one with the food allergy. Allergies for gluten or peanuts, for example, can pose some challenges for selecting the best snacks, but with a little bit of careful planning, it is achievable.
Fresh fruit and nuts – These always a wonderful pairing for school snacks. While peanuts may be off limits, most almonds and walnuts are processed in different manufacturing facilities and do not interfere with allergies. The carbohydrates and natural sugars found in berries and citrus fruits will give any child an energy boost, while the nuts will help to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep them full for much longer. Nuts are also great for enhancing brain power and mental clarity. They are a great choice for a school snack on any day that your child has a big test or exam. For a quick snack on the go, try bananas, apples, or even Dole Real Fruit Bites, coated with yogurt and sprinkled with toasted whole grain oats. This one is an MJ favorite.
Dairy – Many parents dismiss the idea of sending dairy as a school snack for fear that it will go bad or spoil by the time their children get to eat it. A small, liquid ice pack can be frozen in a matter of hours and pairs great with a freezer bag or small snack pail. Surprisingly, this low-cost investment will keep string cheese or yogurt at the ideal temperature for up to eight hours, which is the length of most school days. The active cultures in yogurt will keep your child’s digestion healthy and the fun yogurt pouches, flavors and colors will make snack time fun for them.
Flavored Rice Cakes – Most nut butters are often overlooked, but they taste just as great as peanut butter. Almond or cashew butter is just as sweet and fulfilling as peanut butter and tastes great sandwiched between two cinnamon or chocolate rice cakes. Mini rice cake/butter sandwiches will satisfy any sweet/salty craving and add the perfect amount of crunch to keep any little mouth happy.
Air-popped popcorn – This is another healthy and satisfying “super snack” choice. Air popped popcorn offers tons of fill-you-up fiber for few calories. Your kids will love helping you pop it and adding their favorite finishing flavors of butter spray, seasoning salt, paprika or vanilla extract with cinnamon and sugar on top.
Healthy Juices – Selections with 100 percent fruit, flavored water and caffeine-free, natural tea pouches or drink boxes are all refreshing choices to wash down tasty and nutritional treats during daily snack time.
What healthy snacks do you pack for your children?
Brianna Kelly has over 5 years experience publishing articles on childcare education and parenting. She writes articles on behalf of www.giraffe.ie.