With homework, activities and early start times, kids need the right fuel to stay energized and focused throughout the school day. While a healthy breakfast and lunch is essential, it’s also important to pack nutritious, well-balanced snacks for munching on between meals when hunger strikes.
Below are four ideas for healthy snacks your kids can take to school. All of these snacks can be packaged in Fit & Fresh containers in right-size portions:
- Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Bake a batch of sweet potato chips so your kids reach for something healthy – and not the vending machine – when they’ve got a craving for something salty and crunchy. This recipe from Wishful Chef is a great alternative to store-bought chips and cheese crackers. Sweet potatoes are a must-have in any growing kid’s diet, as they contain lots of beta-carotene, an important antioxidant, and vitamin C for immune-boosting power. This delicious recipe uses a simple seasoning of salt and pepper, but you can sprinkle on herbs like rosemary and thyme, or add spices like nutmeg and cinnamon for natural sweetness without extra sugar.
1 medium sweet potato
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 275 degrees. Thinly slice the sweet potato, about 1/8-inch thick. Toss the slices with olive oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
2. Place a wire rack on top of a large baking sheet. Arrange the slices on the rack in a single layer.
3. Bake for 50 minutes, flipping chips halfway through, until golden and crisp. Cool before packing into lunch bags.
Homemade sweet potato chips are a healthier alternative to store-bought salty snacks.
- Apple 'Sandwiches'
Jazz up regular ol' apple slices by turning them into "sandwiches" containing tasty fillings kids will love. All you have to do is core an apple, slice it into 1/4-inch rings and then sandwich healthy ingredients between two rings. The blog Garnish With Lemon suggests making apple sandwiches with almond butter and granola, but there are many variations you can create. Try topping the rings with peanut butter, cashew butter, oats, raisins or even dark chocolate. Whichever types of apple sandwiches you create, make sure you brush the apple rings with lemon juice before packaging - this helps prevent the apple from turning brown.
- Yum Kabobs
Make snacking extra fun by assembling mini kabobs for your kids to enjoy at school. There are so many variations of snack kabobs that you can create that you'll never run out of ideas - try slices of deli turkey meat alternated with cubes of cheddar cheese and green grapes, or small pieces of grilled chicken with cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes and small balls of mozzarella cheese. You could also create colorful arrangements with a variety of fruits, like kiwi slices, strawberries and mango chunks.
"Make snacking extra fun by assembling mini kabobs for your kids to enjoy at school."
- Fruit Salsa
While regular vegetable salsa and baked pita chips are a great healthy snack for kids, you can switch things up and make sure they are getting enough servings of fruit by making fruit salsa. Pair with pita chips lightly dusted with cinnamon for a nutritious, colorful and fun-to-eat snack your kids will love. This recipe contains pineapple, strawberries and mango, but you can mix together a variety of fruits - try pears, kiwis and pomegranate, too!
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup strawberries, finely chopped
1/4 cup mango, finely chopped
2 large pitas, cut into slices
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine fruit in a large bowl and refrigerate.
3. Arrange pita slices on a baking sheet and brush with coconut oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon, then bake for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.