Seasons come, and seasons go. My seasons, as well most moms', revolve around the school year, AND it’s that time again for back-to-school thoughts, feelings and foods.
Actually, the packing and snacking of kids -- regardless of season -- does not change that much, and the guidelines remain the same. Aim for two to three food groups per snack. The change of seasons or school schedules is a great time to revive your food choices and recommitting to health snacks and meals.
Fresh fruit, of course, is the best portable snack I can find. Many fresh fruits are rinse and eat or peel and eat (i.e. convenient): apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, pears, peaches, plums and berries.
Have you tried baby red bananas? Give them a shot to add something different to your day or your child’s lunch. They are single serving, different and delicious. They are ripe when they give a purplish hue.
Cut and Eat:
Watermelon, cantaloupe and other melons take a bit more prep work, but once cut, yield plenty of fruit for two or more days.
The pre-packed snack packs that include fruit and vegetables and cheese. The one we like contains carrots, celery, cheese cubes and apple slices.
I love them because they combine the different food groups and include vegetables. Fruit is such an easy snack, but vegetables get neglected a bit.
Snacks That Seem Healthy But Really Are Not:
Here are a few new foods on the market and why you should consider them or not.
Natural fruit leathers are better choices, and of course, you can make your own homemade fruit leathers, which are also good choices and can be a fun project to do with the kids.
Naturally, plain milk is the best choice here (reduced fat). However, sometimes children will only drink flavored milk. I have a child who only drinks chocolate milk, but I give it to him because the calcium is more important than the reduction in sugar.
When looking for prepared chocolate milk, look for the lowest sugar variety. Recently, I have been able to find TruMoo chocolate and vanilla milk routinely (YAY). TruMoo is a reduced sugar flavored milk with 6g added sugar vs. ~ 10 from other brands.