Oh it’s that time of year again….summers coming to an end, vacations are over and both parents and kids are prepping to go back to school. Sometimes I’m not sure who’s more excited…the parents or kids??!!!
As a parent myself, one thing I ALWAYS struggled with was finding healthier snack and lunch options for the kids. It was also a challenge to find something healthy that they would actually eat! There’s nothing worse than opening your child’s lunch box at the end of the day and finding it’s still full of the lunch you made them (knowing they probably didn’t eat all day).
Since there’s so many quick grab and go “unhealthy” options out there, I wanted to highlight some of the better choices that your child might enjoy. As a rule, I’d pack the majority of our girl’s snacks on the healthier side, however, they were able to choose 1 SMALL not-so-healthy option as well. This way, they didn’t feel deprived and they began to learn the difference between a healthier choice vs a “treat.”
Instead of having a boring old sandwich every day, here’s a great idea that kids will love and what kid doesn’t LOVE Ranch dressing?
Pinwheel Turkey Ranch Wraps:
Makes 4 wraps:
-8 slices of turkey deli meat
-4 tortillas (whole wheat is the best choice)
-1 tomato sliced
-1 green pepper sliced
-1 cup lettuce
-1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup low fat ranch dressing
Directions (makes one wrap serving):
Place two slices of deli meat on one tortilla. Layer with tomato, green pepper, lettuce and cheese. Sprinkle with some of the low fat ranch.
All too often, most of the “Grab and Go” snacks in stores consist of processed foods which not only lack any kind of real nutrition but also contain ingredients that can be harmful and addictive in the long run. Kids growing bodies require a good nutrition regime and variety to help not only set the stage for optional growth but for good habits in the future.
Here’s a few of the healthier “Grab and Go” Snacks you can purchase which are already pre packed or premade:
- low fat string cheese
- hummus and pretzel containers
- individual hummus containers with baby carrots
- fruit cups
- Greek yogurt
- Trail Mix
- Pre chopped apple slices
- Guacamole containers (pair with cut up veggies or whole grain tortilla chips or crackers)
- Thin chips or crackers
There are also a lot of “energy” bars, granola bars and protein bars out there, most tend to be loaded with unnecessary sugar and or corn syrup. Here’s a quick and EASY alternative to those store bought bars which can be made in advance and stored in the freezer for an easy grab-and-go lunch snack;
No-Bake Protein Balls:
1 cup dry oats
1/3 cup honey or agave
½ cup Natural peanut (or almond) butter
2 Scoops chocolate protein powder
2 squares of a chopped Hersey’s bar or any other chocolate bar or dark cacao chocolate chips
Directions: (Makes approx. 8 balls)
1) Add all ingredients into a bowl
2) Mix with a spoon until everything is mixed together
3) Roll into balls and place on a plate with wax paper
4) Refrigerate for approx. 30 mins
*You can also store these in the freezer for longer lasting
If you have any healthier recipes or ideas you make for your kids, I’d love to hear them!
Happy Back to School!!