Back to school is in full swing!
Daily in the Diamond household, (until next week when my older son will start middle school and THEY will now be responsible for feeding him, thank G-d), there have aways been two kids’ lunches to prepare: A main meal, 3 snacks, water and juice (the juice only goes to my older one). I have noticed a steady decline lately in the quality of snacks in their lunches (obviously my fault, despite being a very healthy household), and it’s been driving me bananas!
My 8 year old loves all things healthy (okay, and slightly unhealthy too), but he’s quite a pleasure to feed. My older son is a little “trickier,” shall we say. Mealtime has often been a huge problem for us, actually. If I’m serving salmon to the family, and my 11 year old refuses to eat it, and therefore I’m making him a grilled cheese, all of a sudden, my 8 year old hates salmon. And then I’m screwed! All healthy goes out the window. Top that off with my husband’s new found love of NO BREAD. He pretty much stopped eating carbs two months ago because he was feeling sluggish, and has since said that we feels better without starch in his diet.
You see where I’m going with this…
And lord knows, I ain’t no Martha Stewart.
So, what’s gone on here during mealtime, has also gone on with school lunches and more specifically their snacks. My little one will take yogourt, cheese, and other healthy snacks to school. My big one doesn’t like yogourt or cheese. And so the daily battle begins when we’re preparing school lunches. The kids go to the pantry to choose their snacks, and there begins the kvetch-a-thon and battle. Me pushing the healthy, them asking for things that their friends bring to school, that I will not buy. Hello Fruit-Roll-Up, I’m talking to you!
Every day, a struggle.
And judging from your emails and feedback over the years, I’m not alone.
You asked for healthy meals and snack options, I’m delivering.
For all Women On The Fence about what healthy snacks to pack for your kids, here are some suggestions your children will actually enjoy! Then give me your healthy snack suggestions at the bottom. Let’s get healthy!
1. Chewy Oatmeal Cookies. Click here for the recipe.
2. Organic Pretzels
3. Organic Cheese Sticks
4. Bananas dipped in organic chocolate
5. Homemade Trail Mix (no nuts for peanut-free schools). Check out Jessica Seinfeld’s Recipe.
6. Carrots and celery sticks with hummus
7. Pita wedges and hummus
8. Healthy cereal is a great snack!
9. Homemade banana muffins. Try this healthy recipe!
10. Smoothies in their water bottles!
11. Fruit with this homemade dip: Mix a bit of cinnamon into French vanilla yogurt and dip your fruit into it.
12. Organic tortilla chips and salsa
13. Whole grain crackers
14. Granola bar. But be careful of the ingredients. Beware of high-fructose corn syrup.
15. Organic yogourt. There are many brands and flavors on the market that are pleasing to kids and are still healthy!
16. Whole wheat bagels chips with a protein dip
17. Popcorn. No, not the movie theater popcorn. I enjoy this brand, Neal Brothers.
18. If your kids love Goldfish, (which kid doesn’t), try Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies instead.
19. Some kids enjoy edamame. You can even sprinkle with a tad bit of coarse salt… at least they’re getting their greens!
20. Let’s not forget fresh fruit!
21. Homemade mini pizzas cut into tiny squares. What is so wrong with cheese, bread and tomato sauce for a nutritious snack?
22. Rice cakes served with almond butter (if allowed), or avacado spread.
23. Graham crackers are a great snack dipped in apple sauce.
24. Apple sauce
25. Fresh whole wheat baguette or bread, when in doubt, always works!
And another suggestion: when your kids come home ravenous after school, what has worked for me, is to already have fresh cut-up fruits or veggies ON THE KITCHEN TABLE waiting for them. This limits the, “There’s nothing to eat for snack,” complaint.
Here’s to healthy eating my friends!
And tell our community, have you been struggling with mealtime and school lunches? Let us know what has worked for you and your family. Please share some great snack suggestions and recipes!
And finally, RIP to a man whose work I closely followed and admired. The world has lost a great man. RIP Wayne Dyer.