Healthy Snack Ideas for Packed School Lunches

It’s no secret and definitely not news that our country has an obesity epidemic on its hands with 1/3 of all children considered overweight or obese. The key to preventing your child from becoming another statistic is by changing the way they perceive food. A lot of kids hear the term “healthy food” and instantly protest, but by forgoing the usual broccoli and carrots and getting a little bit creative you will be able to provide your child with healthy snacks that they definitely won’t want to trade away at lunch.

  • Whole Grain: Whether packing a tortilla snack wrap, a sandwich, or adding in pretzels, crackers, or dry cereal whole grain should be one of your go to snacks to pack.
  • Granola: Whether your child enjoys sweet or savory snacks there are hundreds of recipes out there for homemade granola bars. The best part about making granola bars yourself is that you can put only what your child likes in them from the healthier dark chocolate to salted nuts or even dried fruit.
  • Hummus: Many kids turn up their noses to traditional veggies because they think they taste bland. So you definitely won’t want to let them in on the secret that hummus is a ground-up vegetable (the chickpea to be specific) with spices added for flavor. They’ll love to eat it with whole grain pita chips.
  • Healthy Chips and Fries: Admittedly, it’s hard to see how healthy could ever be an adjective in front of “chips” or “fries.” However, oven-baked vegetable or sweet potato chips and fries are a healthy alternative to regular chips that your child will eagerly switch to because they taste so good.
  • Smoothies/Yogurt with Fruit: Kids love smoothies and yogurt. That is, they usually love the ones that are high in sugar and artificially colored but nevertheless marketed to them. Instead of getting rid of these beloved midday treats, consider buying them “grown-up” yogurt with fruit on the bottom or making them homemade smoothies. Making smoothies at home is not only fun for you and your child but also gives your child a feeling of control because they can decide what goes into it. Additionally, freezing yogurt on a Popsicle stick will make kids think they’re eating dessert for lunch when really they’re getting a healthy snack that will keep them full and happy.
  • Cheese: Cut the imitation cheese snacks and start going for the real thing. Not only does it taste better than snacks that have to spell cheese with a “Z” but it also is great for your child’s developing bones and teeth with all of the calcium it offers. Additionally, cheese comes in a wide variety of unique flavor profiles ranging from spicy to savory so even your pickiest eater will be sure to find a favorite.

The key to getting your kids to start eating healthy is not elimination but substitution, if you can give your kids healthy alternatives that are similar to the foods they already know and eat you will find that they are much more open to healthy change.

As a leading Gainesville, GA dentist, Patrick Toms DMD offers a variety of oral appliances for sleep apnea.

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