Healthy Back to School Snacks

toast bananas

When kids head back to school things get pretty hectic for parents, especially when life is always on the go.

One thing that can be stressful is trying to figure out what to feed the kids.

Registered dietitian Chrissy Barth from Nutrition Lifestyle Education has a few snack suggestions that are not only easy for parents to make, but very healthy.

“Some parents think snacking is a bad word,” Barth said. “I always encourage kids to have snacks that have two to three food groups with carbohydrates, a lean protein and a healthy fat, fruit or veggie.

“This combination gives them energy and fulfills appetite, while the protein helps with alertness,” Barth continued.

When living a busy life, fast food is an option many parents will turn to for snacks or meals.

“Fast food is high in saturated fat and trans fat, which tends to make the food addicting and robs kids of all nutrients they need to grow,” Barth said. “It’s best to always be prepared with a snack anytime you leave the house to satisfy your kid’s hunger and give them the energy and nutrients that are essential for growth.”

Here are some of Barth’s go to snacks:

  1. Goldfish and String Cheese
  2. Tuna Salad or Salmon Salad with light mayo, apples, celery and raisins paired with whole grain crackers
  3. Whole grain toast with natural peanut butter, a sliced banana on top and a sprinkling of cinnamon
  4. Veggies, Pita Chips and Hummus
  5. Oatmeal raisin cookie paired with milk (1% or 2%)

“The best way to make these snacks ready for on-the-go moments is to prep them ahead of time,” Barth said. “Goldfish and string cheese are a great example since you can pre-portion the goldfish and grab a pre-packaged string cheese out of the refrigerator as you’re running out the door.

“This snack has both protein and calcium, as well as carbohydrates to satisfy and give you energy,” she continued.

When it comes to sweets, Barth said if a kid wants something sweet, let them have something sweet.
“My philosop
hy is there always needs to be a balance when it comes to your child’s eating habits,” Barth said. “I promote an 80:20 percent ratio when it comes to healthy eating.

“Eighty percent balanced and nutritional food and 20 percent whatever your kids are craving,” she continued.

“It’s all about a balanced lifestyle and not depriving them of anything.”

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