The thought of meal planning can seem exhausting and daunting, but with a bit of preparation and inspiration, you can create some delicious and nutritious back to school snacks for your kids.When thinking about snack creations, here are some things to consider.
Plan ahead – Create a weekly lunch and snack menu.
Diversity is the spice of life – Rotate snacks weekly to avoid boredom.
Make a grocery list – Minimize frustration, know what you’re shopping for.
Wash and prep in advance – Prepping is the most time-consuming part of cooking. Take some time on the weekend to wash and cut your fruits and veggies for the week.
Make it fun! Get your kids involved in making their favourite snacks.
Balance your macronutrients – Carbohydrates, protein, and fats are the essential building blocks of a healthy mind and body. Balanced snacks also prevent dipping blood glucose levels and keep your kid feeling satiated.
Be creative – Think outside the box! Make the ordinary extraordinary by adding flavour and texture or by making food visually appealing to entice picky eaters. For example create stick snacks like fruit kabobs, and pinwheel sandwiches using a variety of spreads, proteins and fruits and veggies.
Top 10 List of Back to School Snacks
1. Organic Veggies and Hummus – Raw broccoli, cherry tomatoes, celery, carrots, cucumber or bell peppers with hummus – the veggies are a great source of nutrients and the hummus a source of protein.
2. Berries and Greek Yogurt – Berries are an excellent source of antioxidants and Greek yogurt is high in protein. If your child has a dairy intolerance, choose a non-dairy option like coconut yogurt which is also nut-free and safe for school.
3. Guacamole and whole grain/rice crackers – Avocado is a great source of fat and whole grains are healthy carbohydrates that provide sustainable energy and fuel for the brain.
Did you know that the brain is composed of 60% fat? It is vital that we feed and nourish the brain with healthy sources of fat – like avocado. This will help with concentration and memory.
4. Apples and cheese – A traditional but delicious snack. An apple is a great source of fibre and cheese protein. Avoid low-fat cheeses that have been stripped of important nutrients. Whole fat cheeses also keep you feeling full without overeating.
5. Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, prunes and figs contain high amounts of beta carotene, vitamin E, niacin, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium.
6. Banana or apple with sunflower seed butter - nut-free and safe for school.
7. Olives and cheese – Olives are a good source of fat and cheese protein.
8. Hard-boiled eggs – Eggs are a complete source of protein, make them interesting and convert them into deviled eggs.
9. Pinwheel sandwiches – A very creative and fun way to make sandwiches fun and delicious. Choose from a variety of veggies, proteins and spreads.
10. Fruit Kabobs – This is a great, easy, bite-sized snack to prepare with the kids, the combinations are endless. A favourite in our house is strawberries, bananas and pineapple.
Have a happy and safe school year!