It’s that time of year again when we transition from the lazy days of summer to the more hectic days when our keiki are back in school. Our schedules get a little tighter and eating healthy can become less of a priority for many families.
The thought of taking extra time to prepare lunch and snacks for your kids may feel overwhelming. The great news is that making healthy food for your children doesn’t have to take a lot of time!
In this post, we share some of our favorite ideas for going back to school. All of the suggestions are kid-tested and parent-approved! Each recipe can be used as a snack or can be incorporated into a healthy meal, making them versatile and convenient for busy parents. Some of them are so simple that you we don’t even need a recipe — you can just look at the picture and recreate them with your own spin!
What other healthy snack and lunch ideas do you have?
1. Apple Sammies
The picture pretty much sums up the recipe. Just slice two thin pieces of apple and load the center with your favorite nitrate-free lunch meat and cheese. Super fast and kids love the crunch and sweet factor.
2. Zucchini Roll-Ups
Another pretty simple recipe! Cut long strips of zucchini, brush with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. When the zucchini is soft, remove from the oven and let cool. Take your favorite lunch meat or smoked salmon and cut it to the size of the zucchini (we just folded ours in half). Roll it up and take it to go!
3. Cinnamon Pear Popcorn
I popped my popcorn in a brown paper bag (Make Popcorn) which is super easy and free of all the artificial ingredients added to traditional microwave popcorn. I then lightly sprayed the popcorn with avocado oil so it would be sticky. From there I tossed it with sea salt and cinnamon to taste. Add some dried pears (or any other dried fruit) and voila! Perfect snack for after school. Full of fiber too!
4. No Bake Protein Bars
This recipe is a little more involved, but only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. Find our recipe here. They do need to stay refrigerated, but are much healthier than anything you can find at the store.
5. Ham & Asparagus Spears
Another recipe that is as simple as the picture! If you have leftover asparagus, you can just wrap a piece of nitrate-free lunch meat around it and offer it to your kids as part of a nice meal or snack. We tossed our asparagus with a little olive oil and baked it at 350 for about 10 minutes until it was lightly cooked, but still crunchy. Variations might include wrapping the asparagus with other things like prosciutto or salami too. Your little one will thank you!
6. Lemon Spritzer
And of course we love a fizzy drink to go with our meals and snacks! Instead of soda, fill up your kids glass 3/4 of the way with club soda (no calories, just sparkling water!) and top it off with a small pour of 100% lemonade or limeaid. It’s refreshing and much lower in sugar, so you don’t have to worry if your child wants a second help! If your child won’t be running around with the cup in his or her hand you might consider reusing small glass jars at the table as a festive alternative to plastic. Decorate the drink with a lemon wedge or frozen berries.