School lunch improvements featuring healthy options that are low fat, calorie controlled and with the least amount of added sugar as possible have made great strides across the country for the wellness of all of our kids.
The variety and acceptance of the foods served has improved steadily. School districts have worked diligently to provide meals that please students, parents and government regulations.
On-site vending machines have also improved the type of selections available moving toward more healthful choices.
Many parents, booster clubs and fundraising activities however continue to be a source of foods that aren’t as healthy as they could be. While it is true that an occasional treat is not going to hurt kids, the fact is that frequent birthday parties, special events, food rewards and bake sales happening almost every day at school means kids are not getting occasional unhealthy treats but a daily dose of less than healthy items.
The unfortunate possibility for many students is that these treats could be taking the place of the healthy lunch they are served. Therefore, parents could help support the cause and improve the health of all children by supplying non-food rewards, holding non-food fundraisers, and providing healthy alternatives for bake sale items. Here are some suggestions:
- Oatmeal raisin cookies
- Trail mix made with nuts (*optional), dried fruits, wheat/rice/corn cereal pieces and pretzels
- Air popped popcorn with parmesan cheese sprinkles
- Home-made granola bar
- Apple cookies
- Fruit or bran muffin
- Pumpkin cookies or muffins (add raisins or craisins)
- Baked pita chips
- Chocolate drizzled pretzel rods
- Roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Kale or sweet potato chips
- Dried or whole fresh fruits
- Banana bread or muffins
- Edamame crunch (toasted)
- Banana chips
Most of these snacks involve a bit of preparation as would any baked good you make not to mention packaging. Portioning into snack bags will make it easier for eating and selling!
You’ll be surprised how well these unusual, colorful and healthy snacks will be enjoyed! Just think of the benefit for our kids and knowing that you helped all of our kids make healthier food choices!