Last week we asked for your help build out our Top Ten School Snack list. We asked for snacks that
1. kids will actually eat
2. taste good or great
3. add, not detract nutritional value
4. are easy to prepare
5. are cheap
We got lots of great and interesting suggestions – you folks sure are a creative bunch! Some ideas seemed to require just a tad more preparation than most people would invest in on a hectic weekday morning. You can see them in the comments to last week’s post - kudos to parents who take the time. We also want to thank forward thinking Anabel who cracked us up with a preamble to her suggestions
I don’t have kids yet, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about what I’ll feed them!
OK, without further ado and in no particular order – here are the top school snacks of our informal query:
Nuts and Seeds – go for the unsalted kind, just throw ‘em in a ziplock bag and they’re ready to eat. Make sure your child is old enough to thoroughly chew before swallowing.
Dried Fruit – apricots, mango, raisin, cranberry, apple, pear, … – choose the unsweetened varieties – fruit is sweet enough on its own.
Homemade Trail Mix – this is so easy. Buy in bulk whatever nuts, seeds, and dried fruit your kids like. Mix in a bowl. Scoop ino individual bags and you have a week’s worth of snacks handy. Thanks Francesca!
Lara Bars, Homemade Lara Balls – This is an extension of the dried fruit/nut concept – basically trail mix in a mixer. Of all the snack bars out there, Lara bar are the least processed, comprised of just dates and nuts. There are a few Lara competitors with similar bars out there such as Clif. But please note, bars and balls are so easy to make by yourself. Thanks Sarah, Anabel, Sandra, Steve
Homemade popcorn variations – with raisins and dried cranberries, sprinkled with paprika. Thanks Kim, Beth
Ants on a Log – a classic. Celery sticks filled with peanut butter or cream cheese, dotted with raisins, or dark chocolate chips. Thanks Lynn, Den, Leslie!
Fresh fruit – grapes, banana, sliced apple (with a few drops of lemon juice to stop the browning)
Fresh veggies - sliced cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatos
Hummus - whether in as pita, dipped with carrot or cracker, hummus (garbanzo bean spread from the middle east) is becoming more popular in the US. Thanks Marirose, Den
Homemade cookies – not all of these fall under the nutritious category, but hey, if you took the time to bake them from scratch with your children…
Some parents are not allowed to send any type of nut product to school because of allergies. Please respect your school’s policy.
Several people suggested getting a dehydrator. From Carter:
You can pick up a good one for under $50 and open up a whole world of great snack options that are healthy AND cheap. Who knew we could turn kale into a snack our son would eat? Blanched with some cider vinegar and Frank’s Red Hot for a little kick, then dusted with a little salt and garlic powder and dehydrated until crispy makes a nice Buffalo wing seasoned “chip.”
Alisa Fleming has put together an ebook chock full of recipes from food bloggers. Free download.
Have a great school year everyone!!! (and enjoy the long holiday weekend, too…)