As many of us launch into back-to-school mode, you might also find yourself launched into the daunting hunt for healthy snack ideas. As a mom of 2 with my oldest starting Kindergarten this year, I am right there with you! The first couple weeks of packing her morning and afternoon snack have left me searching for a better variety of quick, healthy, packable options my daughter will eat. My nutrition-minded mommy brain aims to pair a fruit or a vegetable with a whole grain or protein food. By doing so, the snack delivers a mix of quick energy carbohydrates, protein for blood sugar stabilization, and fiber for satiety and overall health. Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with. I hope they might help you too.
- Fresh vegetables + hummus (pre-packaged individual hummus packs offer added convenience)
- Make-your-own trail mix (whole grain cereal like cheerios or oat squares + dried fruit + popcorn + nuts if allowed). Get creative and change the ingredients from week to week.
- String cheese + a piece of fresh fruit, no-added sugar apple sauce cup, or fruit leather.
- Rice cakes (look for brown rice as the first ingredient) + handful of nuts (if allowed)
- Whole grain tortilla roll-up (my girls love peanut butter + dried cranberries + coconut + cinnamon inside). Again, get creative!
- Graham cracker sandwiches (cream cheese, + coconut + a thin apple slice between 2 cracker squares)
Article by Katie Sonnek, RD, LN
Registered Dietitian at The Ridge Athletic Club