Monday, August 15, 2011

Snacking for Back-to-School

It's that time of year again.  Time to pack up the kiddos in the morning and send them off to school.  

Along with their backpacks, lunches, special assignments, a check for the fundraiser-du-jour, water bottles (I don't remember bringing this much stuff when I was little)....many teachers encourage sending in a snack.  

Before I actually had kids, I used to always recommend fruit as a snack.  It seemed so easy to me to just send in an apple or banana with your child.  While I'm sure many children can successfully bring in fresh fruit as a snack, none of my 3 kids can do so without a high degree of smushing, crushing, bruising, or leaking which results in an icky snack and disgusting backpack.  [And as a side note, even a nanoparticle of a banana on a backpack causes my small, placid dog to eat said backpack in a matter of seconds.]

In the event that this is a problem in your household, I have started a list of some alternative snack options that will provide long-lasting energy and  transport easily, even under jarring or backpack-as-cushion-on-the-bus conditions:

Frozen tubes of yogurt work perfectly as a snack.  Even if they are not completely thawed by snack time, they still taste great.  Simply Gogurt or Stoneyfield Farm are my favorites.  Plus, yogurt tubes are peanut free. 

 Chex mix isn't the healthiest snack option out there, but is a better alternative to chips and other related snacks.  This one is not peanut free, so may not work in every classroom.   

I wish Fig Newtons were cooler.  If only they would dress up a fig in big underwear and make him sing and dance on TV, kids would actually request fig newtons for a snack.  They are a wonderful, peanut-free option that taste great, even when flattened under a text book. 

I absolutely love these VitaTops.  They are packed with fiber and protein and come in a variety of flavors.  They are frozen, but do well when thawed over time in a backpack.  Some flavors are also peanut free.

Popcorn is always a great option as a snack.  This new Skinny Pop Popcorn tastes great and only contains popcorn, sunflower oil, and salt as ingredients.   No peanuts!

Even a few hours outside of the refrigerator should not be a concern with individual, packaged servings of cheese.  This could also be paired up with a side of whole grain crackers.  Another peanut free option!

Emerald has a bunch of new products that make for great snacking.  Here's one that is dried fruit with granola.  I love these things and throw them in my purse.

Any other snacks that folks like to send in with their kids?