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In some parts of the U.S., kids have already returned to school and suffice to say, it’s looking a lot different. While most large school districts are following a remote learning plan, there are schools that will have a hybrid or full in-person model. If yours will be returning to school, you’ll probably need a list of snack ideas for kids.
Here in Connecticut, our coronavirus rates are currently low so our school district at the elementary level is following a hybrid model for the first two weeks of school and then transitioning to a full, in-person model with the option to continue distance learning.
While many parents are keeping their kids home, we’re sending our kids back.
School snacks have actually been a bit of a bone of contention with my kids over the last few years.
While they would usually eat the fruits and veggies I packed, once peer pressure set in and they saw what the other kids were eating (Goldfish, fruit leather, cookies, etc.) they wanted some too.
I never want any type of food to feel forbidden, so we tried to find a balance between real and fake food, but with a snack everyday, I still found myself running out of ideas.
If you too, feel like you’ve been on a never-ending quest to find healthy, delicious and easy options, I’ve got you covered today with a list of snack ideas for kids.
TIPS FOR PACKING SCHOOL SNACKS
There are so many snack ideas for kids, but here are some things to consider before you pack them.
Whether you’re packing real food or processed snacks, always keep portion sizes in mind so a snack doesn’t become a meal.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your child’s snack may be in the morning or shortly after lunch, so depending on what and when your child ate last, he may not be overly hungry.
Pack school snacks that are mess-free and easy
Make sure school snacks are easy for kids to open, especially if you have kids in kindergarten or the younger elementary grades.
For example, yogurt tubes are convenient but if your kid needs the teacher’s help every day, you might consider packing something different.
Also, try to pack mess-free snacks.
You may want to pack your yummy homemade banana bread but if you know your kid will leave behind a ton of crumbs, swap it for something different.
Keep all food allergies in mind—not just peanut allergies
Your child’s school and individual classroom teacher probably have a nut-free food policy in place, yet it’s important to also consider kids who have other allergies or special dietary restrictions like gluten.
While my children’s schools prohibit nuts in the classroom, they don’t always understand that sesame is just as dangerous as nut allergies, so I always have to remind the teacher about my child’s allergy.
Give kids choices
Whether it’s the clothes they want to wear or the show they want to watch, kids want to feel in control and food is no different.
Kids like variety and when they’re given choices, they’re more likely to make healthy ones.
In fact, a recent study found that when children were asked to pick out all of their snacks for the week instead of picking out their snacks each day, they choose a wider variety of foods including fruit.
Just like mealtimes, you can’t let your kids pick whatever they want, but you can give choices within those you find acceptable.
So instead of asking whether they want fruit or cookies, ask if they want a banana or an apple.
Let kids pack their own snacks
Getting kids in the kitchen is one of the best ways to encourage them to make healthy choices.
I always find that when my kids help me cook, they’re so much more apt to at least taste what we’ve made even if it’s a food they wouldn’t typically eat.
Since mornings are always hectic, I recommend you have them set aside their snacks the night before or for the entire week on Sunday.
SCHOOL SNACK IDEAS FOR KIDS
Between fruit and cheese combinations and yummy puddings, here’s a list of healthy, delicious and easy snack ideas for kids.
Fruits and Vegetable Snack Ideas for Kids
1. Sliced apple with cheddar cheese
2. Raw vegetables with tahini-free hummus, bean dip, guacamole, salsa, or ranch dressing
3. Grape tomatoes and mozzarella balls
4. Pear with brie
5. Celery with sunflower seed butter
6. Cooked green beans
7. Carrot and parsnip mash
9. Unsweetened applesauce
10. Raw, red, green, yellow, and/or orange sliced bell peppers
11. Fruit salad
12. Sliced jicama with a dip
13. Dried fruit
15. Cucumber slices with hummus or ranch dressing
17. Tapenade with whole-grain mini toasts
18. Baby carrots with tahini-free sesame
19. Broccoli or cauliflower tots
17. Stuffed mushrooms
18. Fruit pizza
19. Sugar snap peas
21. Raspberries filled with Greek yogurt
23. Corn, grape tomatoes and avocado salad
24. Pomegranate seeds
25. Chocolate-covered strawberries or bananas
28. Roasted butternut squash cubes sprinkled with cinnamon
29. Endive “wraps” with tuna fish or salmon
31. Brussel sprouts
OTHER SNACK IDEAS FOR KIDS
35. Cottage cheese with fresh fruit
37. Hard-boiled egg
38,. Mini avocado toast
39. Homemade cereal bars
40. Chocolate zucchini muffins or brownies
42. Homemade granola bars
43. Tahini-free hummus, bean dip, guacamole or salsa with whole-grain tortilla chips, pretzels or crackers
44. Chocolate avocado pudding
46. Low-sugar yogurt tubes or cups.
47. Deviled eggs
49. Homemade quick bread or muffins
50. Whole grain rice cakes with sunflower seed butter or cheese
51. Trail mix
52. Yogurt parfait in a mason jar
53. Pumpkin pudding
54. No-bake energy balls
55. Air-popped popcorn
57. Spinach dip
58. Avocado deviled eggs
60. Egg muffins
61. Peas sprinkled with parmesan cheese
SCHOOL SNACK IDEAS FOR KIDS: HEALTHY SNACK BARS
When you don’t have time, a granola or snack bar is a great option. Here are my favorite picks.
64. Made Good
65. RX Bar Kids
66. This Saves Lives
67. That’s It