While summer can be challenging for parents trying to balance work and their children, at least there’s no ticking clock dictating how much time you have to prepare snacks for your kids before hustling them out of the door. Trying to make back to school snacks as busy parents that are both good for your kids and something your kids will actually want to snack on is a whole other mountain to climb.
Fortunately, we’re here to help with some healthy, but delicious back to school snack ideas for busy parents, as well as some general tips on how to guide your children to a healthier diet in general. For school (or work!) lunch ideas, check out our previous blog post from this time last year: 9 Great Back To School Recipe Ideas. And without further ado, let’s get into it.
How To Encourage Healthy Eating Habits
Foods that aren’t very good for you unfortunately tend to be very delicious. They’re engineered that way, to be addictive, with their high sugar, salt, and fat content. Thus, even if you make healthy back to school snacks for your kids, it may be an on-going battle trying to get them to actually eat them, rather than let them go to waste. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it can take being exposed to a food up to 10 times before a child accepts it.
Offering healthy foods in different ways, such as cooked, seasoned, and raw, can help. Telling your child about how your taste buds may need to get used to a flavor before they like how it tastes may help, as can making healthy food fun. If your kids see you enjoying healthy foods, rather than having them because you “have to”, they’ll be more inclined to eat them. Likewise, if your kids see you obsessing over foods, that can impact their own relationship with food too.
Children model the behavior they see, so if you eat healthy, your child will learn healthy habits too. Preparing healthy snacks instead of offering chips and candy can shape your child’s diet in a healthy way. Guiding children to make healthy choices in meals helps them do this independently, as does steering them towards water and drinks with no added sugars, as opposed to sodas and the like.
Don’t “yuck” someone else’s “yum”, as it’s natural for people to like different things. For instance, one family member might love asparagus while another cannot stand it. Never bring weight into healthy eating conversations, as this can trigger eating disorders, low self-esteem, and unhealthy body image.
Ultimately, as long as you are presenting your children with well-balanced food options, this helps everyone in the family eat healthier, higher quality foods. And the following healthy back to school snacks do just that!
Healthy Back To School Snack Ideas
Provided that no one is allergic, of course! Nuts are quick and easy to grab and go and come with a plethora of health benefits. You can buy them in individual packets, or in bulk to put in little baggies for your kid to toss in their lunch bag.
Check out our previous blog: Go Nuts For Nuts: 5 Wonderful Health Benefits Of Snacking On Nuts, for more information about why these are a healthy back to school snack idea.
#2. Hummus With Veggies
Or pita or naan! Hummus comes in all sorts of flavors, from plain to red pepper to garlic, and it can even be sweet, for those who want something to dip their fruit slices in. You can buy hummus at the store, or, if you have the time in your busy schedule, you can make it yourself. Serve it up with some veggies (or fruit, if it’s sweet!), and you have an easy snack that boosts both energy and endurance.
#3. Banana Sushi
Slather a tortilla with a nut butter or jam of your choice, then roll a banana up in it and slice it up. These are sweet and easy to snack on, while helping your child get more fruit into their diet. This can be adjusted as desired to best suit your kids’ tastes. If your kids don’t like bananas, you can substitute another fruit instead.
#4. Apple “Doughnuts”
Remove the core of the apple and slice it up into rings. From here, the options are endless. You can use a nut butter or jam as the “doughnut”’s frosting, then garnish with chopped up nuts, betters, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, or whatever else your heart desires.
#5. Nutritious Bars
From granola bars to protein bars to fruit bars, there are all sorts of options here. When doing this, watch the nutrition labels. Some protein and granola bars have very high sugar content, which isn’t the best for your little ones.
Whether a yogurt drink or a yogurt bowl with berries and granola, this is an excellent easy and healthy back to school snack. Yogurts come in all sorts of different flavors and can be just enough to take the edge off of your kid’s hunger without spoiling their dinner.
These are just a few of the different health back to school snacks you can make as a busy parent without taking too much time out of your day.
Kitchen Kneads is here to help. Click on through our recipe section for all sorts of recipe ideas from snacks to dinners to desserts and more.