As the new school year begins, yet another thing to add to the to do list is the daily school snack. No matter if you’re sending a snack for the whole class or an individual child, it’s easy to get into a snack slump. Add in the rules…the snack must be healthy and nut free, which means the teacher will need to see the nutrition label, so nothing homemade, it can be downright challenging to come up with fresh ideas. No worries, we’ve found nine school snacks that are EASY, healthy and you can feel good about sending to school with your kiddo.
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Serving fresh fruits and vegetables can seem challenging, but the bonus is that you don’t need to provide a nutrition label! We tend to choose fruits and veggies that come in their own packaging or don’t require any prep like clementines, bananas, baby carrots, edamame grapes, etc. If your teacher allows, you can also send along a dip like ranch or yogurt to make the fruits and veggies more appetizing.
Both my kids love popcorn, so it’s always on our school snack rotation. We buy the single serving snack bags, but you can also buy the large bags and send the packaging with the nutrition label to school. The best thing about popcorn is that it’s naturally 100% whole grain. You just have to watch the flavorings for added salt and sugar.
3. “Healthy” Cookies
Unfortunately, I’m not talking about Chips Ahoy, but healthier cookie options that are packed with extra fiber and keep an eye on the sugar content. Options like Low-Fat Fig Newtons or Belvita Breakfast Cookies are a great treat option for kids. They’re an every now and then snack that won’t break the calorie or sugar banks.
4. Low-Fat Cheese
Cheese is super-flavorful and satisfying, and gives your kids protein and calcium. The key is making sure it’s not in every meal and snack. We’ve found some great packaged low-fat cheese options. Most kids love string-cheese and cheese rounds like Babybels. You can also purchase small sliced cheese packages.
5. Applesauce and Fruit Cups
There are so many applesauce and fruit cup options on the market. You do have to make sure to look for unsweetened options and watch the added sugar. The great thing about pre-packaged applesauce and fruit cups is that they have a long shelf life, are low-cost and are easy to throw in your kids’ school bag. To mix them up a bit, you can also freeze them and they become a “fruit slushy”.
6. Granola and Cereal Bars
Granola and cereal bars can be good snack options, but also tricky. Be sure to look for whole grain bars that are low in fat and sugars. You’ll also need to make sure that the product is made in a nut-free facility.
7. Pretzels and Tortilla Chips
Pretzels and tortilla chips are both great low-fat snack options. You just need to watch the salt. They also both come in pre-packaged sets with salsa or hummus, making them a more filling snack to get your kiddos through their school day.
Like the other options above, be sure to look for brands that are low-fat or fat-free, moderate in sugars and high in calcium. And, if you’re worried about forgetting to send a spoon or your kid spilling, you can purchase yogurt in spill-proof pouches.
9. Whole Grain Crackers
Whole-grain crackers like Triscuits, which come in different flavors or thin crisps (or similar woven wheat crackers) are a great school snack option. They’re even better if they can be served with sliced cheese or lunch meat.
What is your go-to school snack? Share with us in the comments below!