Healthy snacks fuel school kids to keep them energized and focused at school. Many prepackaged convenience foods for kids lack nutritional value or add extra fat and calories. Many nutritious, homemade school snacks are easy to prepare the night before, saving you time in the morning. Check on the snack policies in the classroom as many schools restrict things like peanuts that could cause an allergic reaction in other students.
Cream Cheese Spreads
Low-fat cream cheese makes a healthy base for a snack spread. Stir in different flavorings to make the cream cheese tastier. One easy option is to mix in your child’s favorite jam, which adds both sweetness and fruit flavor. Fresh, pureed fruit is another option, but you might need to add a little honey or other sweetener to make it appealing. The cream cheese spread goes well with bagels, pitas and graham crackers, and also makes a tasty dip for fruit.
The exact makeup of this versatile school snack depends on what fruit is in season. Buying in-season fruit saves you money and usually offers the best-tasting fruit. Cut up the fruit into slices or chunks. Slide a few pieces of fruit onto a long plastic toothpick. If your child has a big appetite, make several of the fruit kabobs. Plastic wrap, plastic food bags or plastic containers with lids work well to store the fruit kabobs. Yogurt on the side provides a tasty dip for the mini fruit kabobs. The same idea works for vegetables; use salad dressing or hummus as a dip.
Small amounts of cereal left in the boxes work well to create a cereal trail mix for snack time. Mix together different cereals as the base of the trail mix. Other ingredients also go well with cereal. Things like dried fruit, coconut, pretzels and crackers are options for additional mix-ins. Let your child pick the ingredients she wants in her cereal mix. Make a large batch of the cereal mix and portion it out into individual containers. When you need a quick snack to send to school, grab one of the containers and toss it in your child’s bag.
Homemade muffins offer a sweet school snack. Any basic muffin recipe is easy to adapt to fit your child’s preferences and the ingredients you have on hand. Shredded carrots or zucchini work well in muffins. This adds a dose of vegetables in your child’s diet without the argument. Replace half of the oil in the muffin recipe with applesauce for a healthier muffin.