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Monday, March 5, 2018

Top 5 Easy School Snack Ideas

There's a lot of chatter about school lunches. I've even written about lunchbox ideas quite a few times myself (click here to see those posts). But you know what threw me for a loop this year as my daughters started Kindergarten? Snacks. Nobody warned me that in addition to packing lunches every day I was going to need to pack snacks as well! After getting over my initial bewilderment I've come up with some standard go-to's that work for me- here are my favorite snack ideas to send to school.

There are a few reasons why snacks took me by surprise at the beginning of the school year: 1) I quickly learned that snacks have to be eaten quickly and independently- no time for fussy wrappers or foods that take a long time to eat, 2) after working out a nicely-balanced healthy lunch, adding in the snack factor just throws everything off, 3) of course the snacks still have to be peanut-free for my daughters' school (and, it seems, most other schools in the US), and 4) kids get HUNGRY at school- I'm amazed at how filling the snacks need to be for my kids to not come home ravenous!

Of course I don't have time to pack a second lunch every morning for every child. It needs to be quick and easy for me to throw together. So with all of those factors in mind, here are some of my go-to snacks to pack for my Kindergartners.

1. Fruit

Apple slices, tangerines (pre-peeled), bananas, and raisins are easy to pack, quick to eat, and give my daughters the energy they need to make it through the afternoon.

2. Bagels

I'm always surprised at how much my daughters like this one: half a slice of bagel with some cream cheese sandwiched in the middle is a quick and filling snack they both love!

3. Crackers/ Chips/ Salty Snacks

I often save those salty carbs- chips, goldfish crackers, popcorn, pretzels- for their snack. They're easy to throw in a bag and my daughters are always excited to eat those.

4. Juice

I will often throw in a small juice box, especially if their other snack is one of the salty snacks mentioned above. They get in a lot more fluids during the day this way, and there are quite a few healthier juice options out there these days!

5. Nuts/ Seeds

I am lucky enough to have the option of sending nuts to school- my daughters' school doesn't allow peanuts but does allow other nuts. Besides walnuts, pecans, and almonds, coconut flakes are another great option (which would also work for nut-free schools), and pumpkin and sunflower seeds (pre-shelled) have been great options as well!

Those are some of my favorite snack ideas. What are yours? I'd love to get some more ideas from all of you veteran moms out there, because it has been surprisingly difficult for me to come up with snack ideas to send to school! Leave a comment below if you have some favorites :)

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