Friday, August 5, 2011

Back to School: Fast Lunchbox Snacks

With school almost back in session, It is time to think about what goes into those lunch boxes. Kids need healthy, fast snacks that will sustain their energy, appetite, and mood throughout their long days.

Healthy high quality snacks, that consist of powerful proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats are a great strategy for regulating blood sugar, appetite and warding off those mid-afternoon meltdowns.

The trap most parents fall into is not realizing the difference between a snack and a treat, or not being prepared enough to pack balanced snacks. A snack is merely a mini meal, meant to nourish your children. So Plan ahead and have healthy snack choices on hand. The ice cream truck is a treat, not a snack and will not sustain or nourish your kids.

Below are some of my favorite grab and go snacks, which should give you some ideas and help you plan ahead. I would love to hear your kids' favorite snacks!
  • Apple or pears with almond, peanut, cashew, or sunflower butter 
  • Lara bars- a great three ingredient snack bar 
  • Cottage cheese mixed with, berries, walnuts /almonds/flax seeds 
  • Hummus with carrot sticks/ sliced red/yellow/orange pepper 
  • Guacamole with carrot sticks/ sliced red/yellow/orange peppers 
  • Ricotta cheese mixed with cocoa powder, stevia, and vanilla extract topped with berries 
  • Hardboiled eggs with carrot and celery sticks and hummus 
  • Celery sticks with organic peanut butter or almond butter add raisins for kids 
  • Avocado slices wrapped in nitrate-free turkey breast 
  • A piece of sprouted grain toast sprouted-grain preferred nutritionally over whole grain with almond butter and bananas 
  • Fresh sliced pineapple with a handful of pistachio nuts 
  • A bowl of blueberries mixed with raw almonds 
  • Cottage cheese with cinnamon, apple slices, and walnuts 
  • Organic cheese stick and carrots