School children are growing their bodies, brains, and personalities and eating right is key for the healthy development of all three. With so much junk available to kids these days, we thought we’d provide some ideas for delicious, nutritious snacks to send to school with your kiddos. Buying non-GMO and organic when possible is far healthier than buying conventional. Read on for 4 green, healthy snacks for school.
#1: Fruits and Vegetables
Seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables are such an important part of your kids’ diet. Check out your local farmer’s market or CSA to see what’s in season, or visit the local or organic sections of your grocery store’s produce aisle—the cheapest, most abundant produce is usually what’s in season! Kids love carrots and ranch dressing; you can also pack cut up cucumber, radishes, tomatoes, broccoli, and snap peas with a yummy dressing or homemade hummus for a fiber or protein boost.
#2: Nuts and Seeds
One of my all-time favorite, classic snacks (and one I know most kids love) is organic apples and peanut butter (I buy the kind you have to stir because it’s made without palm oil). You can also substitute almond butter if you’re trying to avoid peanuts or sunflower seed butter if your kids can’t do nuts at all. Nuts and seeds are packed with Omega fatty acids, regulate blood sugar, and provide a protein-fat boost that lowers cortisol and helps stressed kids calm down. My favorite trail mix to pack as a snack is a combination of almonds, walnuts, dark chocolate pieces, dried cherries, and dried blueberries—it’s an Omega-3, super food power snack!
#3: Whole Food Bars
Whether you make your own or purchase a nutritious option, bars that are packed with protein, fiber, and good fats make for a great snack that will keep your kid full and focused throughout the afternoon. Check labels: it’s best to buy organic, non-GMO, whole food bars that are made especially for kids because they’ll pack the right amount of vitamins and be lower in sugar. Choose nuts, seeds, and dried fruits over sweet bars that will just make your kids crave candy.
#4: String Cheese
String cheeses are so much fun to eat and they’re the perfect little pick-me up as a mid-morning or –afternoon snack. Most are under 100 calories so they won’t make kids sleepy but are full of fat and protein to give their brains and bodies the little kick they need to make it to 3:00. I like to pair a string cheese with a piece of seasonal fall fruit.
What school snacks do your kiddos gobble up? Which ones come back home in their lunchbox?