Naturopathic Kitchen: Healthy School Snacks

Children eating lunch at school.

The back-to-school season comes with the challenge of making sure that your children are getting the nutrition they need in foods that are easy to pack and eat on-the-go. These school snacks are all simple to prepare, full of nutrients, and filling. Whether you have teens or kindergarteners, these healthy snacks are popular with kids of all ages.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a kid-friendly snack that is easy to customize to individual tastes. It is also a good source of protein and calcium. Most children do not get the recommended daily amount of calcium in their diet, so sending your kids to schools with calcium-rich snacks like yogurt is suggested. 1 Instead of choosing sugary, flavored yogurts consider buying plain, organic yogurt and drizzling organic honey or maple syrup to sweeten it. Add fresh fruit, nuts, granola, and/or dark chocolate chips for fun toppings.

Egg Bites

Egg bites are a great make-ahead snack that are packed with nutrients, and easy to toss in a lunch bag. Simply pour whisked eggs into oiled muffin tins, then add your choice of chopped vegetables, such as mushrooms, onions, spinach, zucchini, or bell pepper. Make sure that the egg is completely covering all of the vegetables in the muffin tin. Top with a little grated cheese or dairy free cheese, if you like. Bake at 350 degrees until the egg is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

Eggs are a great source of protein, and these bites make for a yummy and substantial snack or a breakfast to-go. 2 They are also a fun way for kids to eat their vegetables, and can be customized with whatever veggies you have on hand.

Bonus: They freeze well, so you can make a big batch and then add these bites to school lunches all week.

Pita Pocket

Pita pockets are a fun, tasty way to increase your children’s vegetable intake. In a whole wheat pita, spread hummus inside, and add nutrient-rich raw vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and shredded carrots. Add fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, or chives for extra flavor, and drizzle a little lemon juice on top. Hummus is a great source of plant-based protein, and raw vegetables provide plenty of fiber, making this snack both nutritious and very filling. 3 4 

Energy Balls

These sweet bites are the perfect treat to boost energy after school, and they’re loaded with nutritional value. Simply mix together ½ cup nut butter of your choice with 1 cup of organic rolled oats and ⅓ cup maple syrup or honey, then add mix-ins of your choice such as flax seeds, toasted coconut, dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or chia seeds. Mix everything together, then form the mixture into small balls with your hands (putting a little oil on your hands helps prevent the nut butter from sticking). Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or toss them in the freezer to keep them even longer. The nut butter and rolled oats in these energy balls provide protein and fiber, and you can add an extra nutritional punch with whatever additional ingredients you choose to mix in. 5 6 

Note: because this recipe contains potential allergens, save this for an at-home snack or make a nut-free version that substitutes sunflower seed butter instead of nut butter.

We hope these tips have been helpful and take some of the stress out of meal planning.

 

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