TEH BLOG Back to School Snacks

Fueling Your Brain and Body: Healthy Back-to-School Snacks

This is a longer blog, but as the back-to-school season approaches, it’s essential to ensure that your children are nourished with healthy snacks that promote natural healing, support brain function, and sustain their energy levels throughout the day. Opting for nutrient-dense and wholesome snacks can help your children stay focused, alert, and ready to tackle their academic challenges. In this blog, we’ll explore a variety of delicious and easy-to-prepare snacks that not only taste great but also offer numerous health benefits. Then we’ll take a look at what to look for on the ingredient label of those grab-and-go snacks!

First, let’s take a look at some fun treats you can whip up with your children. Get creative! Let your kids make these snacks with you to get them excited to show their friends their recipe!

1. Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip

Create colorful fruit kabobs using a mix of fresh berries, pineapple chunks, and melon pieces. These nutrient-packed fruits are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, which can boost immunity and support overall well-being. Pair the kabobs with a creamy and probiotic-rich yogurt dip to aid digestion and improve gut health.

2. Veggie Sushi Rolls

Roll up some excitement with homemade veggie sushi rolls. Use nori seaweed sheets to wrap up a combination of sliced cucumber, avocado, bell peppers, and carrots. Sushi is an excellent way to incorporate essential vitamins and minerals into your child’s diet. Plus, it encourages them to eat more veggies, thanks to the fun presentation. Just remember, the whiter the rice, the less nutritionally dense it is.

3. Trail Mix Bliss

Blend together a custom trail mix with raw nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips. This energy-boosting snack is packed with healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants. The nuts and seeds provide a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids, contributing to improved cognitive function and focus.

4. Hummus with Rainbow Veggies

Whip up a batch of homemade hummus and serve it with an array of colorful veggies like carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, cucumber rounds, and cherry tomatoes. Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are an excellent source of protein and fiber, promoting stable energy levels and supporting digestion.

5. Quinoa and Veggie Muffins

Prepare quinoa and veggie muffins that are both savory and nutritious. These muffins can be made ahead of time and stored for a quick grab-and-go snack. Quinoa is a complete protein and an ideal alternative to traditional refined flour, supporting sustained energy and satiety.

6. Chia Pudding Parfaits

Create chia pudding by mixing chia seeds with plant-based milk and a touch of natural sweetener. Layer the pudding with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of granola for added crunch. Chia seeds are a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and essential minerals, contributing to heart health and brain function. You can also do this with Chia powder if your kids aren’t a fan of the texture of the seeds.

7. Apple Sandwiches

Slice apples horizontally to create “sandwiches.” Spread almond butter or sunflower seed butter between the apple slices and add a few raisins or cranberries for extra sweetness. Apples are rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber, helping to support the immune system and promote healthy digestion.

With the busy world, we live in today, it’s not so easy to make snacks every day for school, I get it. So, let’s take a look at some ingredients to stay away from when you are shopping for back-to-school snacks for your children. When choosing children’s snacks, it’s crucial to be aware of potentially harmful ingredients that may be present in certain products. Here are some common harmful ingredients found in children’s snacks:

1. Artificial Colors: Artificial food colors like Red 40, Yellow 5, and Blue 1 have been linked to hyperactivity and behavioral issues in some children. These colors are often found in candies, fruit snacks, and colorful cereals.

2. Artificial Flavors: Artificial flavors are synthetic chemical compounds used to mimic natural flavors. They can be found in a wide range of processed snacks and may have negative effects on health in the long run.

3. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): HFCS is a highly processed sweetener derived from corn. It is commonly used in sugary snacks, beverages, and processed foods and has been associated with obesity and other health issues.

4. Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Trans Fats): Trans fats are artificial fats created through the hydrogenation process. They can raise bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and increase the risk of heart disease. Trans fats are often found in cookies, crackers, and other baked goods.

5. Artificial Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are used in many sugar-free or low-calorie snacks. While they are intended to reduce calorie intake, some studies suggest potential adverse effects, particularly in children. It is best to find a snack sweetened with natural sweeteners such as honey, agave, or stevia leaf.

6. Preservatives: BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are synthetic preservatives commonly used in processed snacks to extend shelf life. They have raised concerns regarding potential health risks.

7. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate): MSG is a flavor enhancer used in savory snacks, soups, and processed foods. Some people may be sensitive to MSG and experience adverse reactions, including headaches and nausea.

8. Sodium and Added Salt: Excess sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems. Many packaged snacks, especially savory ones like chips and pretzels, contain high levels of sodium.

9. Added Sugars: Snacks with high sugar content can lead to tooth decay, obesity, and other health issues. Watch out for products with added sugars like sucrose, fructose, and corn syrup. Again, it is best to find a snack sweetened with natural sweeteners such as honey, agave, or stevia leaf.

10. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms): Some snacks may contain ingredients derived from genetically modified crops. While the safety of GMOs is still a subject of debate, some individuals prefer to avoid them due to potential environmental and health concerns.

When choosing children’s snacks, it’s always a good idea to read the product labels carefully and opt for snacks made with natural, whole ingredients. Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and homemade snacks are often healthier alternatives to heavily processed and potentially harmful options found in many store-bought snacks. Even eliminating just a few of these harmful ingredients is a positive step in the direction of healthy living! We all have to start somewhere!

By choosing wholesome, nutrient-dense snacks for your kids, you are not only satisfying their taste buds but also providing them with the essential building blocks for growth, learning, and natural healing. Embracing these back-to-school healthy snacks will set your children on a path of overall well-being and success throughout the academic year. Remember, a well-nourished body and mind are better equipped to face the challenges that lie ahead. Here’s to a healthy and fulfilling school year ahead!

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