School has started and for most of us that means always feeling on the go and packing plenty of snacks for our kids to make sure they are well-fueled for their day of activities. When you are short on time, what are some quick, healthy snacks that we can really grab and go?
Snacks need to offer your child essential nutrients as empty calories leads to tired, unfocused children. How do we avoid empty calories? No partially hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, high fructose corn-syrup or high sugar products. Yes, they can be pleasing to your child’s eye, maybe even their taste buds, but we promise they are not pleasing to their growing body.
Dairy: Yogurt – no, not the sugary articifical kind. The good news is some of the greek yogurt companies are now offering yogurt in a tube which are higher in protein and calcium rich. Another option are low-fat cheese sticks (non-processed). A well loved treat in my house is yogurt mixed with strawberries or bananas and whole-grain mini-graham crackers.
Fruit: Apples are apples, and yes they are easy, but when choosing fruits and veggies the key is a rainbow of colors. Cut up kiwis, pineapple, melon or berries and put in a sealed container for protection. Skewer them and your kids will love it (sometimes worth the effort). For added nutrition try dipping in plain greek yogurt or mix it with a little honey, and for the chocolate lover try this great chocolate yogurt dip your kids can make.
Vegetables: Baby carrots, sliced cucumber, sliced peppers or green beans are often kid approved. Again, try adding a dip for protein. One of the top kid favorites? Hummus! If you haven’t tried it with your kiddos, trust us and do. Peanut butter is great (try it with carrots!) but best for home with so many allergies these days. Even better? Almond butter offers more nutrition and sunflower seed butter is also well loved by many kids.
Whole grain crackers, sweet potato chips, whole grain cereals and dried or freeze dried fruit are also great for on the go!
Feeding our kids fuel for a busy day is essential to their well-being. Don’t forget to offer lots of fluid and yes, water is best. 1.5 oz per pound of body weight is the standard per day. That’s 8/ 8oz glasses for a 60 pound child. Lots of play time and they need more. If your child is not one that loves plain water try these flavored-water recipes – they are quick, easy and delicious!