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July 19, 2022

10 Smart Snack Ideas for Back-to-School

by Doris Nicolas-Mir, MPH, RDN, LDN, CDCES

It’s that time of year when kids are getting ready to head back to the classroom. As you check off the list of back-to-school supplies, don’t forget to plan some fun snacks! Most kids need a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack to keep their energy levels up and their concentration going during the school day. Having your kids put together their own snacks is also a terrific way for them to learn basic food prep skills. Here are 10 smart snack ideas for back-to-school that will be sure to satisfy your child, and power them through their day!

  1. Yogurt and Fruit Parfait: Layer vanilla or plain yogurt with fresh fruit, such as berries, and add your favorite crunchy granola.
  2. Bagel Thins and Nut Butter: Toast a whole grain bagel thin and top it with your nut butter of choice. Peanut, almond, and sunflower butters are all great options.
  3. Homemade Trail Mix: Keep a variety of ingredients on hand for the kids to put together their own trail mix. This is a fun way to incorporate some variety and give your kids autonomy to choose their own snacks. Here are some ideas: nuts, low sugar dry cereals like Cheerios or Chex, unsweetened dried fruit, and mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms or peanut butter cups for an added sweet treat.
  4. Hard-Boiled Eggs and Sliced Deli Meat: Most of us forget that hard-boiled eggs are a great quick snack option, as they contain protein and essential vitamins. Pair them with low-sodium ham or turkey for a protein-packed snack! You can buy pre-boiled eggs, or boil ahead of time so they are ready to go.
  5. Cottage Cheese and Fruit: Combine cottage cheese with a diced fruit cup such as pineapple or peaches. Just make sure to look for the fruit that’s packed in 100% juice or water, instead of lots of added sugar.
  6. Popcorn: A versatile whole grain option you can top with sweet or savory seasonings. Here are some combinations to try:
  7. Fruit Quesadillas: This is a fun and creative way to combine a grain, fruit, and nut butter. Take a whole wheat tortilla, spread your favorite nut butter on one side, and add some sliced fruit like bananas or berries. Fold and enjoy!
  8. Veggies and Dip: Pack some sliced veggies (bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, celery) and a yogurt-based dressing like ranch or hummus.
  9. Cheese and Crackers: An easy grab-and-go snack! Pick up your favorite low-fat string cheese or cheese slices and some whole grain crackers such as Triscuits, Crunchmasters, or Wheat Thins.
  10.  Pinwheels: Another spin on a traditional sandwich. Layer low-sodium deli meat, low-fat cream cheese or cheese, and veggies on a spinach or tomato wrap. Roll-up and slice into small pieces. The perfect mini bite for on-the-go!

With these smart snack ideas for back to school, your kids will be getting the proper nutrients they need for energy to last throughout the entire school day. You can even involve them in the process of prepping snacks for the week as a family activity. Happy back-to-school season!

Find more nutrition tips with one of our Avance Care dietitians!

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