School is back in session, and as a parent, it’s your responsibility to provide lunches and snacks for your children. Whether your child goes to public school, is home schooled, or is one of the 5.4 million students who goes to one of the 33,619 private schools in the United States, it’s important to have healthy snacks throughout the day to keep them energized and focused.
Of course, providing healthy snacks isn’t all about counting calories and sugar. One thing to remember when picking out snacks is portion control. A healthy school snack should fit in the size of your hand, which ensures your child doesn’t fill up too much on snacks and not on actual meals.
Another thing to consider is trying to think of snacks as “mini meals” to try and find higher quality snacks for your children. Try to stay away from junk food and look for protein and fiber to keep your child’s blood sugar stable throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from ingredients you can’t pronounce.
There are five things you should try to include in snacks for your children: fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, protein, and healthy sweet treats.
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and a way to make their snack fun and colorful. They also provide your kids with the energy they need to get through the school day. Fruit salad, veggies and hummus, or celery and peanut butter are just a few of the many options you can provide your children with.
The protein in dairy, or non-dairy, products like milk and cheese will keep your kids feeling full until their next meal.
Wholegrain snacks like crackers or pita chips have plenty of fiber and energy. Try making mini sandwiches, single serving pizzas, or just simple cheese and crackers.
Foods like eggs, meat, and nuts can also provide an energy boost, without the sugar crash later on. Lunchmeat pinwheels, trail mix, or hard boiled eggs are another perfect snack option to keep your child full and focused.
Despite what many kids believe, healthy snacking doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice yummy treats. Having a balance is important to keep things like chocolate in the mix, just not too often and not too much. You can even make your own healthy sweet treats at home.
It’s important to have a variety of snacks prepared so your child doesn’t get bored of eating the same thing every day. You can even let them help you make the snacks so they’re involved in picking out what they want to eat. With these quick, healthy snacks, your child will be ready to take on the new school year.