5 Tips For Easy, Healthy School Snacks For Your Kids
Food plays an important role in the healthy growth and development of children. For your child to reach the normal height and weight for kids and developmental milestones, it is crucial that they get all the essential nutrients they need from the foods and drinks they consume.
Making Sure Your Kids Eat Well In School
As a parent, there is no doubt that you will go to great lengths to make sure your children eat only the most nutritious meals and snacks at home. You can also get an assurance that your little ones will eat only healthy foods while they are in school (and away from your watchful eyes) by carefully choosing and planning their recess snacks.
Here are some tips and ideas you can use for packing both easy and healthy school snacks that your kids will also love:
1. Include your kids during snack planning and prep work
Help your kids feel excited about eating their healthy snacks in school by getting them involved. Ask them what snacks they would like to eat during recess. Also, take them along when you go grocery shopping and let them choose certain ingredients. Although they won’t be able to get most of the sweet or salty and unhealthy items they like such as chocolates and chips, you can still give them some choices for the snacks that they will eat.
Let your children help you with preparing their snacks at night or early in the morning as well. Allow them to put their personal touches on their snacks. You can even have them design the brown bag or lunch box where you pack their snacks.
By doing so, you also give them control and enable them to feel more excited about what they will eat come recess time.
2. Pack fun (and healthy) foods
Even if you put some slices or pieces of fresh vegetables and fruits in your kids’ lunch boxes, you can’t be sure that they will eat them. However, if you serve these foods in interesting ways, your kids will find them irresistible and will enjoy eating them.
You can do this by using cookie cutters to make shapes out of fresh veggies and fruits. You can also use kid-friendly skewers for fruit and veggie kebabs that they can eat during recess. Add a dip as well such as yogurt or hummus so that the fruits and vegetables will have additional flavor.
3. Prepare well-balanced snacks
A balanced snack or meal includes all of the food groups. This means you have to incorporate items from the different food groups for children in their packed snacks. Make it a point to pack some fruits, vegetables, lean protein, dairy, and whole grains in their lunch boxes.
Look for recipes that will allow you to combine these healthy ingredients. For instance, instead of making a simple ham sandwich, use whole grain pita bread and load it with baked turkey, low-fat cheese, greens, and cucumbers. For dessert, add a small pack of yogurt to your kids’ lunch boxes.
4. Limit processed foods
It can be easy to fall into the habit of putting store-bought packaged snacks in your kids’ lunchboxes since this is simply easier and faster. However, these products lack a lot of the important nutrients kids need. They contain high amounts of sodium, saturated fats, and sugar as well.
As such, make sure you limit their intake of these snacks. If you want to add some of these food products to your kids’ lunchboxes as a treat or to give in to their request, make sure you read the label carefully.
As much as possible, choose a nutrient-packed product that contains organic ingredients. You can explain to your kids why you selected this particular brand and the benefits they will gain so that they can understand your decision.
5. Give them healthy drinks
Lastly, water and milk are still the healthiest beverages you can give your children. Make sure they stay hydrated in school by giving them a bottle of water and encourage them to drink frequently.
You can also give your kids small cartons of milk if they are asking for an additional beverage. Avoid giving them boxed fruit juices since these products contain high levels of sugar and preservatives.
Even if your kids are away at school, you can make sure they are eating something healthy during their break time. You can do this by taking the time to carefully plan and prep the recess snacks they will be bringing to school every day.