Kids going back to school this fall need more than new clothes and supplies; one of the best ways you can help them enter the new year is with some new healthy school snacks. Check out these simple energy-boosting foods that’ll help your kids make it through the day and still have the focus to complete their homework and afternoon obligations.
A mixture of fresh berries offers kids a sweet treat with plenty of energizing vitamins and minerals. Any berries that are in season will do—simply rinse them off and keep them in a bowl in the fridge for easy access when they get home. If you’re headed to sports or other after-school activities, you can opt for the freeze-dried variety, which are easy to eat on the go. They also make a great healthy alternative for picky eaters that don’t like just any fruit. My daughter refuses to eat a fresh strawberry, but she’ll wolf down a bag if they’re nice and crunchy!
2. Hummus and Veggies
Kids love dipping snacks, and protein-rich hummus makes a great healthy dip for carrots, snow peas, and other crunchy vegetables. For healthy snacks on the go, look for single-serving packages of hummus. To minimize waste, pack a few spoonfuls into a reusable container.
3. Energy-Boosting Smoothie
Smoothies are a win-win—kids love them and they’re so easy to infuse with nutritious ingredients. My little girl’s favorite smoothie recipe combines banana, strawberries, and blueberries. Blend a quarter cup of each, along with a half-cup of coconut milk and a few cubes of ice. You might even freeze the fruit first so you don’t have to add very much ice, which waters it down.
Bananas are easily one of the healthiest energy-boosting foods out there. They’re packed with protein and come “pre-packaged,” making them easy to take anywhere. If your child groans at the sight of another banana, however, try dressing this healthy snack up as a universal favorite: ice cream.
My whole family was amazed when we successfully turned this potassium classic into a sweet indulgence of frozen banana pops. To make your own, cut a few ripe bananas into chunks and freeze them. Put these chunks in a blender and blend until they’re nice and smooth. Pour this mix into popsicle-shaped molds, and freeze. The resulting pops taste like creamy, rich ice cream despite just being your average healthy banana.
5. Rice Cake Sandwiches
Instead of the run-of-the-mill cheese and crackers, assemble a healthier version of this traditional savory snack with mini rice cakes and protein-packed nut butter. Spread the nut butter of your choice on a mini rice cake and place another mini rice cake on top to create a sandwich. For something more adventurous than peanut butter, consider almond butter, which has nearly double one’s daily value of the fatigue-fighting iron.
6. Homemade Energy Bar
Energy bars are always a go-to breakfast prior to catching the bus, but the ones made for kids are often loaded with sugar. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to whip up your own healthy snack bars at home. Of the tons of easy recipes online you can try in the interest of finding the right kid combo, one of my favorites is a banana oatmeal bar.
Mash two very ripe bananas and stir in two cups of rolled oats. Add a teaspoon each of vanilla and cinnamon. Spread the mixture evenly into a 9×9 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow the pan to cool, and cut your hardened treat into bars for packing in the top pouch of your kids’ brand new backpacks.
What are some of your kids’ favorite energy-boosting snacks? Share photos of your favorite recipes on Instagram with the hashtag, #GoodMatters
Image sources: Sher Warkentin | Flickr
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