Hey there! I don't know about you, but the start of the school year brings both a welcome shift back to a routine AND a bit of melancholy as summer comes to a close. Here in Seattle, we already feel autumn is in the air, with cold mornings and shorter days.
One of the things I DON'T look forward to is having to make my kid's lunch every day. My daughter's school doesn't have a cafeteria, it's more like a "Quick Mart", a small counter window complete with unhealthy food options. So packing a lunch is essential. Getting my child to eat healthfully is a continual challenge, one I'm sure many others can relate to! I have a few tricks up my sleeve for preparing healthier snacks that I thought you might enjoy. Here goes...
8 Healthy Tweaks to Kids' Snacks
1. Use plain Greek yogurt and add a teaspoon of their favorite jam. You'll cut their sugar intake by 75% and they won't know the difference!
2. Make your own nut butter or cheese-filled cracker sandwiches. No yucky additives and less packaging- better for them and for the planet!
3. If buying chips, choose the plain varieties over flavored. I'm not saying chips are healthy, but the flavored ones have added colors and flavor enhancers, so it's choosing the lesser of two evils.
4. To encourage kids to eat their raw veggies, give them a dip they like in their lunchbox. Hummus, ranch, salsa, cheese spread, tofu spread, nut butter, etc... they're bound to like one!
5. Make your own muesli bars or energy balls. There are a ton of easy recipes (check Pinterest) that take less than 30 minutes. If you do this over the weekend, freeze them and you'll have them on hand for the week ahead.
6. If you are buying packaged muesli bars, choose one that has less than 6g of sugar per bar, and a short ingredient list.
7. Use their favorite deli meat and roll up with cheese or dip. A great high protein/low sugar snack!
8. Make your own trail mix. Let your kids choose their own ingredients and make a batch in a jar. Grab a couple of handfuls to put in their lunchbox.
By making these tweaks, you are helping your child eat healthier every day. When making changes to your kids' diets, it's best to do so in gradual steps so they go largely unnoticed! When the body receives healthy food, it starts to crave healthy food. This will help to "program" your child's cells and encourage them to make healthy food choices throughout their life.
These snack tweaks also help the environment by reducing packaging and waste. I feel this is important, because this is the Earth our children will grow up in and live in, so we owe it to them to do our part in being stewards for the planet. I hope you see it that way too!
Stay tuned as I will share a few of my favorite homemade muesli bar and energy ball recipes soon!
I am a wellness educator and trainer who is passionate about helping others to look, feel, and be their best in body, mind, and heart. Thanks for visiting my blog!