Special thanks to CLIF Kid & POPSUGAR for being a sponsor and providing Zbar Filled products for us to try. All opinions, ideas and content are my own. While I’m pretty proud of my summer parenting, i.e. less gaming and videos, more biking and fort building, I let my healthy snack game slide a bit. It felt freeing to roll out of the house with three kids and not a care in the world (or cracker in my purse) but then I had to drop some $$ on a sno-cone or a fast food bite whenever anyone got parched or felt the ol’ hunger pains. Alas, all good-ish things must come to an end so I’m here to share a few of my new-school-year-resolutions. It’s time to focus more on the food that I put in these precious little baby birds of mine (who are shockingly starting 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade this year, what?)
Let’s talk about nourishing their busy little bodies and brains with nutritious snacks. I’ve never claimed to be a parenting expert, I’m winging it just like you, but I do have a few tricks that I use to give the little ones a full tummy and an alert mind as they roll between school pick-up, drama, soccer, scouts, and whatever else happens to be on our agenda. Maybe these are all common sense… or maybe they are crazy enough to work?!? Nah, they are all super easy ways to help kids stay happy and satisfied between the school bell and the dinner bell. (Now I want to buy a dinner bell.)
1. Good Hydrations – My kids all have a water bottle for school but by days end it’s gone room temp or it’s just plain gone. When I have time, I add a few slices of cuke, mint leaves, orange slices or berries into a fresh bottle of ice water to have waiting in the car for everyone, including me.
2. Snack Basket Wingman – I keep an assortment of “no refrigerator required” healthy snacks like CLIF Kid Zbar Filled snack bars in the car at all times. It feels good to always have a nutritious and organic option for them right when they get out of school. These were sent by CLIF but we have already eaten them all and bought more on our own. My kids truly love them. Clare is crazy for the Apple filled with Almond Butter. Gordon and Quinn love the Chocolate filled with Peanut Butter. They give everyone an energy boost and a satisfied tummy before our next stop.
3. Prep Time – At 10, Clare is getting big enough to do some cooking on her own. This school year she is going to be in charge of prepping snacks in addition to making her own lunch. She likes to make hard boiled eggs and peel them, bag up carrots and hummus, slice cheese for crackers, and pre-wash fruit to make it easy to grab. Hearty snacks like these can even turn into a light dinner on the run. No more junk food stops!
4. Picnic parties – Remember how I mentioned our bike riding? We are very excited to have a new bike rider in the family. To go with our after-school bike excursions I’m envisioning lots of picnics. Picnics are the perfect time to introduce some new foods that kids might normally reject under the guise of being “fancy.” Stronger gourmet cheeses and olives, veggies and dips, unexpected sandwiches. They could be more receptive to “exotic” foods in a fun and relaxed environment. Also they are trapped and hungry so really they are at your mercy. I kid!
5. Scrumptious Surprises – My kids love to know that I spent a little part of the day doing something special for them. Since I work from home, I sometimes have time to spare for making some quick fruit skewers or meat and cream cheese pinwheels before pick-up. To be honest, they REALLY love when I grab a new snack that they might like at the store. This works out perfectly as I acclimated to being a responsible mother of healthy children who eat nutritious snacks most of the time… plus the occasional sno-cone.