If you dread packing school lunches – here are a few snack ideas to keep your students energized throughout the school day.
Typical school morning. You know the routine. You remind your child to pack her sneakers for gym, even a clean shirt for her school pictures. Then just as she heads out the door, she yells, “Mom, you forgot my snack!”
Well, before you throw her a bag of Doritos, take a minute to think about what snack time in school is really about – giving your child the fuel she or he needs to focus, stay alert, and get through an action-packed day – not filling her with empty calories.
Children need a pick-me-up full of protein and nutrients to keep their bodies (and minds) growing and going. “Healthy snacks will provide children with energy, vitamins, and minerals to support their growth and mental alertness to help them focus,” says Samantha Lowe, MD, a pediatrician at White Plains Hospital Medical & Wellness in Armonk.
But packing a nutritious snack is just the beginning. You also have to consider your child’s specific needs. Is your child underweight? Overweight? Gluten-free? Nut-free? No worries.
Here are some ideas to help you step up your snack game with nutritional treats that cater to every kid’s diet and taste.
- For the underweight kid with no allergies, try unsalted nuts, trail mix, fruits, and vegetables with cheese, guacamole, bean dip, hummus, or peanut butter.
- For the overweight child, how about low-fat cheese on low-fat whole-grain crackers, baked chips and salsa, and fresh fruit with the fiber-filled skin on?
- For the gluten-free kid, try cheese and rice crackers, yogurt, apples, cheddar and cottage cheese, celery and peanut butter, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- And for the nut-free kid, how about apples, oranges and bananas or other fresh fruits and vegetables? Although yogurt, dried fruit and most dips are fine, anything that comes in a package means you’ll have to read the food label.
With a little bit of planning, you can make the “Mom, you forgot my snack” moment less stressful.