Healthy Snacks for the Family
As the school year quickly approaches, it is essential to gather the right tools for your young thinkers to be successful students; pencils, pens, notebooks, etc., are all necessary purchases. Although these tools are important, the most valuable items that your children will take to school with them are actually the contents of their lunchboxes.
Good nutrition, especially during a long and busy school day, is absolutely vital to helping your kids be the best they can be. A well balanced lunch will aid in concentration, energy, mood, immune health, and much more! This means skipping the sugary and processed snacks like sugar-filled fruit snacks, juices and flavored milks, packaged/frozen meals, salty chips, processed meats, and white breads. Instead of filling your child’s lunchbox with these foods that will contribute to brain fog, low energy, anxiety, hyperactivity, and poor concentration, try packing balanced meals.
Make sure to always include a good protein source, a carb (complex), and a healthy fat in order to promote the best blood sugar regulation and longer sustained hunger levels. Good options for protein would be nuts/seeds, lentils, lean ground turkey, chicken breast, or quinoa.
Choices of carbs could include any unsweetened whole fruit, cooked or uncooked vegetables, and whole grains like oats, brown rice, or whole grain tortillas. Sources of healthy fats would be avocados, olives, or almond butter.
If you struggle with picky kids, try getting them involved in the shopping and preparation of their lunch. Not only will they be learning, but they will also be far more likely to try the foods they helped prepare! Moreover, get creative with combinations and add in sneaky fruits and vegetables, such as fresh strawberries on their PB&J, carrots to dip in salsa instead of chips, or cucumbers as bread on a turkey sandwich. Make their lunches colorful and fun by cutting fruits and veggies into different shapes. Allow them to “build their own” lunches by making healthier versions of lunchables.
Just remember, you are helping them succeed by avoiding the sugar, sodium, and chemicals by packing at home and packing with balance in mind!
- Example School Lunches:
- Cucumber Sandwiches with Turkey and Hummus, Pineapple and Blueberry Fruit Salad
- Quinoa Bowl with Black Beans, Avocado, Lettuce, and Salsa
- Apple Slices, Almond Butter, Chicken Breast Tenders
If you want more recipes or any other tips, contact me at [email protected]!