10 Real Food Snacks for the School Year

Planning snacks for our children is often the last thing we think about during the back to school rush, but having a healthy snack plan will help your children power through their day and year.  But what is a healthy snack?  Every snack package screams at you from the shelf claiming their product is healthiest. But when Fruit Loops, with 44% of its calories coming from sugar, are allowed to call themselves a “Smart Choice,” it is time to reconsider these snacks and take back your snack control.

Black Salad

Limiting the snacks your family eats to real, whole foods is much easier than you think because the hardest part is coming up with the ideas since the ideas are not already packaged for us into cute little portions. Our family likes to combine a fruit, vegetable or nut carbohydrate with a healthy fat when we snack. Here is a list of my Top 10 Real Food snacks for the school year. Feel free to combine a few of the items on the list to make a larger snack or a small lunch.

  1. Hard boiled egg
  2. Carrot and/or Celery Sticks dipped in Almond Butter.  Or any seasonal veggie for that matter.  Have you tried Kohlrabi?  Slice it up into “chips” for your children to dip into some hummus.
  3. Fruit – Use whatever is in season or frozen grapes and berries taste great right out of the freezer.
  4. Plain Full-Fat Yogurt. Add some fruit and/or honey.
  5. A Slice of Cheese. Cheese sticks are good, but I also like to go to Trader Joes or Whole Foods and let my kids pick out new varieties to try. My kids found out they really like Parrano cheese this way.
  6. Meat – Salami, Pepperoni or smoked salmon. We like to stick to the nitrate-free versions.
  7. Smoothies – Full-Fat yogurt blended with frozen fruit makes an awesome treat for those mornings when you kids need to eat in the car. You can also freeze it once you are done, put it in a container and by lunch-time is should have thawed to the right temp for them to drink it in smoothie form.
  8. Nuts – There are so many different nuts to choose from. Try to stick with ones that are not salted because the sodium can add up fast from just a few nuts.
  9. Homemade Popsicles – Take your leftover smoothie from #7 and throw it into some Popsicle molds
  10. Mini Salads – Fill up a small (1/2 cup or so) container with some tomatoes, lettuce, raisins and any other fruits/veggies your children like and drizzle a little olive oil over it. Don’t add anything with vinegar or the lettuce will wilt.

Most of the items on this list take very little time to prepare, yet they can all help develop life-long habits of eating real, whole healthy foods without added the added sugar and salt. For additional tips on getting your children to eat healthy food, check out my post 20 Ways I get my Kids to Eat Healthy.