Packaged snacks are NO alternative to healthy, homemade, whole food lunches. We will discuss How to Pack a Healthy School Lunch in a future post, but today we are going to focus on healthy snacks! Kids love variety in their lunch and schools often have “snack times” throughout the day. You don’t want your child eating their lunch during snack time and getting left with nothing for lunch, so it is important to find easy and healthy snacks to pack for your child. Of course, we always recommend packing healthy snacks that are made from scratch, but sometimes a busy family doesn’t have time for this. Here is a list of our favorite healthy snacks to pack for back to school 2014!
1. Quinn Popcorn – When Perfect Supplements thinks of popcorn, we unfortunately think of GMO kernels doused in hydrogenated “butter flavored” oils popping away in a questionably safe (carcinogenic) microwave. Scary, right? Well, that was what we thought until we discovered Quinn Popcorn. This company creates popcorn products with non-GMO and certified organic ingredients. They even feature a product called Farm-To-Bag Popcorn and if you enter the batch number on their website, you can actually see which farms the ingredients came from!
2. Nick’s Sticks – We all know that Slim Jims and most conventional beef jerky products are filled with nitrates and other toxic chemicals. Introducing Nick’s Stick’s- grass-fed beef and free range turkey with no MSG, no nitrates, no antibiotics, no hormones, no sugar, no dye, and no gluten. For the paleo kid who loves his protein, Nick’s Sticks and Epic Bars (keep reading!) are the way to go!
3. Good Boy Organics Chips – Chips can be a fine snack in moderation IF they are made from wholesome ingredients. BOPS by Good Boy Organics are an organic version of the classic Lays style potato chip that America has come to love. These aren’t the most nutrient dense snacks on this list, but they are made with organic and non-GMO ingredients that are MUCH safer and healthier for your family.
4. Unreal Candy Bars – Though candy bars should be reserved for very special occasions and they hold no place in a child’s healthy diet, if your child goes to school, he or she is inevitably going to be tempted by conventional sweet treats. On special occasions such as Halloween and Valentine’s Day when candy fills home-packed lunch boxes, real food parents may struggle with finding a healthy alternative. UnrealCandyBars look and taste just like Snickers, but they are made with healthy, whole food, non-GMO ingredients and they even contain grass-fed milk!
6. Epic Bars – At the 2013 Weston A. Price International Conference, Perfect Supplements had the wonderful experience of sampling all of Epic Bars’ flavors. As stated before, Epic Bars are the perfect snack for the paleo kid in your life! Epic Bars are made from grass-fed and pastured meat and they come in 4 AMAZING flavors: Bison Bacon Cranberry, Beef Habanaro Cherry, Turkey Almond Cranberry, and Lamb Currant Mint. These grain-free, high protein snack bars are a perfect for staying full and energized all day.
5. I Heart Keenwah Clusters – A healthy alternative for the kid with the sweet tooth, I Heart Keenwah Quinoa Clusters are made with two organic superfoods: quinoa and cacao! They come in a variety of flavors made with organic ingredients and they are the perfect sweet snack for a little one’s lunchbox. These delicious snacks are also naturally gluten-free!
7. Go Raw Flax Snax – These savory snacks are delicious AND filling. Go Raw Flax Snax are made from a variety of sprouted organic seeds and organic spices. Got a kid in a nut free classroom? Flax Snax are nut-free, gluten-free, and vegan! They are also raw and organic, and the fact that they are sprouted makes them super digestible- perfect for tiny tummies!
8. Doctor in the Kitchen Seedsters – Similar to Flax Snax, Seedsters are USDA organic, raw, and gluten-free. The company was created by Alison Levitt M.D. meaning that these snacks were literally designed by a doctor in the kitchen! Fitting name, right? We love that these snacks are healthy, delicious, and come in a variety of interesting flavors- perfect for kids and adults, too!
9. Wonderfully Raw Coco-Roons – One last treat for the kids who crave sweets, but this one is made from one of our favorite ingredients: coconut! According to their website, “We sourced our ingredients from around the world supporting the wild, organic and sustainable movement. We sweeten our Coco-Roons with the finest organic maple syrup for its vitamin and mineral qualities and let’s not forget the fabulous flavor!”
10. Homemade Snacks – This is the healthiest option on our list- make them yourself! It’s easy to make healthy snacks that your kids will love. The Perfect Supplements Blog often features healthy snack ideas. Check out these guilt-free snacks featuring easy stuffed mushrooms and sweet pepper poppers, or these easy low-carb snacks featuring crispy prosciutto crisps, or these 10 whole food snack ideas that your kids will love! Many of our recipes are gluten, grain, and dairy-free!
There you go! Hopefully you now have enough snack ideas to pack your child’s lunch all year long. In the next few weeks, we will also cover how to pack a healthy LUNCH for your children as well as how to do your back to school shopping the eco-friendly way! Stay tuned and feel free to share your back to school tips in the comments section below.