10 Tasty, Affordable Ways to Beat The School Snack Doldrums
Are you tired of going through the effort of shopping, preparing, then packing school snacks for your kids, only to open their bags at the end of the day to find untouched food? If this sounds familiar, read on, because we’re going to help you take snack time back!
Isolate Favorites. Buy. Make. Repeat.
We often just overthink. Kids’ likes and dislikes are pretty simple. It’s okay to repeat favorites if they carry some nutritional value and are being eaten!
If you do this one bit of prep work first, those snack foods shouldn’t come home to haunt you.
Spend some time talking with your kids about food. Don’t try to change their minds…just listen. Take into consideration things they have never enjoyed. Then, narrow down our list!
Healthy, easy, and tastes good? Yes, it's possible.
These suggestions can all be eaten on the go, so you don’t have to worry about packing anything else but a napkin. The only caveat is you will need an insulated snack bag to keep some of them cool. The best part? Each snack is a great combination of protein, complex carbs, and fat, so they’ll keep full until dinner…or close to it.
1. Trail Mix
Trail mix is one of the easiest snacks you can throw together in under ten seconds. Adding chocolate chips or M&M’s to sweeten the pot gets kids to consider diving deeper. Sure, the chocolate may seem like a bribe at first, but if it gets them to try new things, it’s worth it! Add nuts, raisins, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, cereal, yogurt chips, granola, and pretzels. Let your kids help you get creative.
2. Dried Edamame or Chickpeas
Dried beans are a great option if you like snacking on something crunchy - like potato chips. Use regular edamame and chickpeas if your child prefers.
Surprised popcorn made the list? When not loaded with salt, oils or butter, popcorn is quite healthy. This whole grain even has a higher antioxidant content than some fruits!
4. Hard Boiled Eggs
These little beauties pack a lot of protein in a perfect container! If your young kids struggle with the shell, peel it before packing, and sprinkle in a little salt for taste.
5. Apple/Nut Butters
An apple and peanut butter is a delicious way to incorporate fruit into their diet. Most kids who don’t have a large repertoire of fruit will accept a red delicious or granny smith apple! Substitute almond butter or sunflower seed butter if peanut allergies are an issue. Nut butters can be purchased in single-serving tubes to make it even easier.
6. Ants on A Log
Nut butters stuffed into celery stalks and topped with a trail of raisins is something our grandparents probably snacked on and is still going strong. Be sure to give your younger ones that description of it…they may want to make it themselves!
7. Granola Bars or Whole Grain Cereals
If you’re running late, throw a granola bar in their bag or a scoop of the healthiest cereal they will eat, which is fully portable without the milk!
8. Hummus and Pita (or alternate dips)
Buy a tub of hummus and scoop out savings in smaller snack containers you own. Along with some carrots, pita bread or chips, you have a class A snack. If your kids don’t love hummus, try guacamole, or other Greek dips baba ghanoush, tahini, or tzatziki.
9. Cheese, Please!
Make the old cheese and cracker combo special by allowing your kids to pick their favorite kind of crackers and cheese. Add any natural fruit your child likes. Grapes, bananas, pears, berries, peaches, plums…pair it with the above-mentioned crackers, roll, or mini-French bread baguette. You can’t go wrong with cubed or string cheese just on its own.
10. Finger Sandwiches
These mini versions of the traditional sandwich still make kids silly happy. Indulge them and make their favorite tea party sandwich: cut off those bread crusts and make four out of one. Somehow, they just go down easier.
If your child will eat just five items out of this list, then you have a new repertoire for a full week. Let the snacking begin!