Healthy Snacking: The 2020 School Edition
This year has been...different. We're home. A LOT. Many parents are seeing newer and bigger challenges with everything related to being back to school. One significant challenge is choosing simple, healthy, and tasty foods to feed our children during the school day.
The kids want ALL. THE. SNACKS!
With so many scenarios for school in 2020 including: all-virtual learning; in-person instruction; and multiple hybrid schooling situations, meal prepping and grocery shopping has become very stressful. I know most moms feel this to their core, "What do I feed the kids today"? Add to this the fact that many schools are now requesting disposable items and prepackaged items in order to decrease contamination and we've got ourselves a snack conundrum.
WHERE DO WE START?
THE best way to feed our children healthy options is to have a plan. We know that meal planning and preparation is a great way to keep our families eating healthy all week long. Now we need to think one step further and plan healthy snacks to pack or to have for our kids at home for every schooling scenario. Here are some quick and simple ideas that are both healthy and travel well:
- A packet of peanut butter with cut up celery, apples or banana*
- Greek vanilla yogurt and a banana to dip
- Peanut butter and banana wrap (whole grain or sprouted wrap)
- Mini whole grain pita pockets with hummus*
- Mini hummus and pita snack packs
- Whole fruit cup in its own juice*
- Organic smoothie pouches, mixed fruit pouches or apple sauce pouches*
- Hard boiled eggs or tuna pouches (not all kids will like this option- but give it a try)
- Cheese and whole grain crackers
- Veggies and Greek yogurt dip (try making this dip with Simply Organic Ranch)
- Baked tortilla chips with black bean dip
- Turkey and cheese roll ups (check for NO nitrate turkey slices)
- Make your own protein bites, bars, trail mix or granola (kids love this and you
can find hundreds of quick healthy recipes online)
- Yogurt smoothies*
- Cheese stick and whole grain pretzels
- Animal crackers and pudding or dessert hummus
- Healthy prepackaged snack packs (try organic Lunchables)
- RX kids bars, Go Macro Bars, Cliff Z Bars, & Lara Bars
- Pickles or olives snack packs
Here are a few more options if you have a little more time to prep or if your kids are learning remotely:
- Smoothie (frozen fruit, greens, yogurt/ milk of choice)
- Healthy sandwiches on whole grain bread or wrap ( organic if possible- i.e. Dave's
- Bagel and cream cheese*
- Yogurt with fruit and granola
*organic whenever possible
We always want to fill our children's bellies with healthy and nutritious foods to provide energy and great nutrition for successful learning. Always know you can think outside the box and create your own treats. If you have a day where the plan does not work it's important to not get down on yourself. Jump right back in the next day rather than thinking about how you failed yesterday. We are all doing our very best in the craziness that is 2020!
Take a moment today to plan for snacks your children (and their growing bodies) will love.
Jennifer McDonald, RD is Owner of Momleta Asheville/Hendersonville, SC. She is a mother to two boys, a wife and business owner. She is passionate about fitness and nutrition but knew she wanted to spend more time raising her kids so she decided to follow her dream and open her own business, MOMLETA Asheville/ Hendersonville. Jen graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nutrition/Dietetics and a Speciality in Health Promotion. She worked twelve years as a Clinical Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Orlando. She has provided medical nutrition therapy in multiple areas including general pediatrics, obstetrics, pediatric nephrology, pediatric endocrinology and pediatric gastroenterology. She continues to practice as a private dietitian in the area. Jen is an ACE certified personal trainer, specializing in birth recovery and diastasis recti repair. Her hobbies include yoga, golf, spinning, boxing, nature and traveling with her family.