Back to school time can be exciting and fun—new clothes and school supplies, a fresh start. But where we start to feel the hassle factor: Snacks. Finding snacks that will keep your kids healthy and energized, that they also really like and want to eat, can feel tougher than homework help and test prep wrapped into one. And if your child has an allergy (or their school is super-restrictive about foods with allergens), the pressure is even worse.
To make this herculean task a bit simpler, here are some healthy snacks that are also kid-approved. So you can go back to focusing on how you’re going to get one kid to soccer while the other one has ballet at the same time across town.
In a hurry? (Who isn’t, right?) If even the easiest homemade treats take too long to put together, don’t worry: MadeGood Snacks are a great solution. They’re school safe, free from the 8 most common food allergies (peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, wheat, sesame, fish/shellfish and soy), and they’re made with organic ingredients, so they’re non-GMO. Plus, each snack has the nutrients of a full serving of vegetables in it, thanks to an amazing ninja-like powder made from spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets and shitake mushrooms. (Does your kid normally eat beets and shitake mushrooms? Yeah, neither do ours.) The best part: MadeGood snacks are truly delicious and feel like a treat. The Granola Bars and Granola Minis are perfect for the kid who enjoys a softer, cookie-like texture, while the Crispy Squares are a healthier alternative to sugar-laden rice cereal treats. And with flavors like chocolate chip, apple cinnamon, and mixed berry, there’s something for everyone.
Raw Carrot Cake Bites
Nut-, dairy-, gluten-free
These little energy bites on the Rawmanda vegan blog use just a few pantry-staple ingredients, take seconds to blend together and—bonus—include a vegetable. Dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger give them carrot-cake flavor, while the fiber from the gluten-free oats will help keep them full, the carrots lend vitamin A and potassium, and the dried fruit offers carbs for energy. Keep these in the freezer to pack for on-the-go snacks.
Oven-Roasted Pizza Popcorn
Nut- and gluten-free
Kids love popcorn, and kids love pizza, so why not put the two together? It’s a far better crunchy, savory snack than nacho chips, with fiber and carbs in the popcorn and lots of good nutrition in the various spices. Look for organic popcorn in your store’s bulk bins to avoid GMO corn and opt for grass-fed butter for even more good nutrition.
No-Sugar Cookie Dough Dip
Dairy- and grain-free (and easy to make nut-free)
We love Chocolate Covered Katie’s smart dessert recipes, and this dip is a perfect example. Offer your kids cookie dough as a snack (try it with sliced green apple) and feel good about it—the base of this dough is that miraculously versatile ingredient, chickpeas. To make these nut free, use sunflower-seed butter in place of nut butter, and toss in allergy-free chocolate chips as well (such as Enjoy Life).