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I’m not going to lie– I loathe packing school lunches. I can’t put my finger on the reason why, but let’s just say it’s not my favorite part of the day! 😉 Although it isn’t my favorite school day task, I feel very strongly about encouraging healthy eating habits in my boys and helping to power them through the school day with nutritious foods.
They will occasionally take leftovers, but usually yogurt bowls or sandwiches for the main staple of the lunch. I like to add variety to their school lunches through the addition of healthy sides and snacks. Here are some of our favorites:
- Stonyfield YoKids Squeezers— we love to freeze them, so they stay nice and cool for lunch!
- Justin’s Nut Butter Packets and Justin’s Pretzel Snack Packs (pretzel sticks with classic almond butter, maple almond butter, honey almond butter or chocolate hazelnut butter). In my opinion you can’t go wrong with pretzels and any kind of nut butter– it’s like a natural combination. These little snack packs remind me of the cheese spread and cracker ones we had growing up (but better!). I love the nut butter packets with a few crackers for my own snacks (the maple almond butter is my favorite!).
- Homemade Fruit Leather— If you loved Fruit Roll-ups as a child, guess what?! You can actually make them at home, and they kids will LOVE them! You can find recipes HERE and HERE.
- Ants on a log— This is one of my older son’s favorite healthy snacks, and they are so easy to make ahead. Just trim a few celery stalks, cut them in half and fill them with peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter or even hummus! Next, line up raisins like little ants in a line! They are easy for the kids to eat at lunch and snack and the combo of crunchy and creamy is great!
- Homemade Trail Mix— The boys will eat trail mix all day long (I actually have to ration it! :-))! One thing I love about making your own trail mix is that the possibilities are endless, and you can make it just the way you (or the kids!) like it. While we use nuts in our trail mix; if your child has a nut allergy or has a nut-free school, you can use sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or other substitutes. We often mix nuts, dark chocolate chips and dried fruit like cranberries, cherries or blueberries. By making the trail mix yourself, you can avoid unnecessary oils or preservatives, and it’s a great snack to keep kids full during the school day!
If you are looking for a fun AND functional lunch box for back to school (or for work!), PackIt makes super cute freezable lunch sacks. Just pop the whole bag in the freezer at night, and then you don’t have to worry about keeping food cold or trying to locate an ice pack! They come in a lot of fun prints for kids, and you can find more info HERE.
What’s your child’s favorite healthy snack for school?