Success at School Healthy Snacks For the Backpack With snack sales and vending machines becoming more and more popular in schools, your child is surrounded by junk food while he is away from your care. Potato chips, candy bars, pop tarts and granola bars taste great and are cheap to buy, but the effect on your child’s health and school performance is disastrous. These foods are the primary reason why there is an epidemic of childhood obesity in our country. And rather than give your child energy and clarity of thought, they induce fatigue, cause difficulty in concentration and even suppress the immune system, making your child more vulnerable to infections. But your child needs to have snacks at school; small frequent snacks help keep his metabolism up and his blood sugar stable. Rather than give him money to eat the unhealthy snack choices at school, fill his backpack with nutritious food. When he gets hungry, all he will have to do is reach into his pack for a quick energy boost. Consider the following ideas for delicious snacks to pack in your child’s backpack. •
Mixed nuts. Provides protein and good fats. Choose unsalted and unroasted varieties such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, and peanuts.
Dried fruit. Mixed with nuts, dried fruit provides carbohydrates for an energy boost but without a subsequent blood sugar spike and drop.
Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is a great treat but with less sugar than milk chocolate varieties. Consider putting dark
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chocolate pieces into a bag of trail mix that includes the nuts and dried fruit. •
Cheese. Cheese will provide protein as well as a feeling of fullness for your child. Experiment with different flavors and pack at least two varieties each day. Some suggestions include white cheddar, pepper jack and Gouda.
Whole grain crackers. Crispy, salty crackers provide a rich chewing experience that mimics the satisfaction of eating potato chips but without the high-starch content of the potato. Choose a variety that is 100% whole wheat, and try to avoid any hydrogenated oils.
Fresh fruit. Cold, fresh fruit is very inviting. Cut up some of your child’s favorite fruit and pack it into a small, disposable container with a cold pack. Include a disposable fork as well. Using disposable containers and utensils is important, because it is easier for your child to handle. The easier it is for him to eat his snacks, the more likely to actually eat them.
Sandwiches. Small sandwiches are also a good snack. Turkey, chicken or even peanut butter and low sugar jam are all good options.
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