As the new school year looms, the big question on every parent’s mind is this: how can I send my child to school with something that’s healthy and also so yummy looking and tasting that it won't make its way back home uneaten?
Canada's Food Guide recommends that kids eat four-to-six servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and between-meal snacks offer an excellent opportunity to sneak in some of those healthy options. Nutrition and learning go hand in hand. and a lack of proper nutrition can negatively impact a child’s ability to focus, activity levels and overall school performance.
Yet, for any parent who has ever watched their little darling poke at the “kid friendly edamame dip” (yes those air quotes are flying) with suspicion, knows that “healthy” can sometimes be synonymous with “tough sell.”
To make matters worse, with the rush to get kids off to school on time, and then later in the day to get dinner made and homework done, finding the time to make wholesome snacks is hard to come by. So, here are a few ideas that might spark some inspiration for you.
Where Old School Meets New School
Remember the classic “Ants on a Log”? Today, parents need a nut-free option, so replace peanut butter with cream cheese or tofu spread and top with some fresh blueberries or dried fruit. It’s a fast, easy snack, and you can even put all the separate components in litterless lunch containers and let your kids assemble them. (Think outside the celery stalk! Why not use a slightly hollowed-out cucumber, zucchini or banana?)
Get Crafty & Creative
Why is it that party sandwiches are so much tastier than regular sandwiches? It’s the same fillings but just fun shapes. That same sense of fun carries through to other foods. Spend a few minutes on the weekend cutting out fruit or cheese and you’ve got everything ready to go during the week. Take a look at these fun fruit and cheese kabobs.
Fast & Easy
- Fruit Cups - Not up for cutting out shapes? Then concentrate on colour. Berries are rich in vitamins as well as antioxidants that help improve brain function, memory and concentration. Toss together an appealing assortment of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries in a reusable container and you’re done!
- Devilled Eggs – An excellent source of protein, eggs also contain choline in their yolk, which is an important nutrient for memory development.
- Whole Grains – Beyond sandwiches, consider adding grains into your children’s snacks with yummy whole grain tortillas or crackers. Add a little hummus on the side for extra nutrition!
- Pudding – Soymilk is packed with essential nutrients and is a good source of protein. Make a big batch of soy-based chocolate pudding and watch your kids gobble it up. (Check out this convenient Fuel Snack Pod!)
What’s your favourite healthy snack? Share ideas with us!