School’s back in session and it’s time for parents everywhere to put on their lunch-packing superhero capes and fill those lunchboxes with delicious eats that will keep your kiddos energized during the school day! In the past few decades, a lot has changed and there’s fortunately a plethora of resources for parents to leverage when it comes to making delicious meals for their families. However, the added pressure from social media and other sources can sometimes make it feel like how a child eats is a direct reflection on the parents—and that is understandably both overwhelming and mentally exhausting (we’ve been there and we’re here for you!).
Nutrition is at the core of GoBe Kids; we prioritize developing and fostering healthy relationships with food—which includes “healthy” (we’re totally using air quote finger signals) foods and the ones your family loves! Food represents so much more than nutrition—it’s enjoyment, sensory stimulating, and even a source of comfort during a long day. So here is our gentle reminder for all you amazing parents out there—give yourselves a pat on the back (and a couple rounds of applause) because you’re doing an incredible job providing for your families.
Now let’s shift gears a bit and help you and your kiddos get ready for a big day of learning! Here’s our top healthy snack ideas that will have your little ones smiling from ear to ear:
Crunchy Veggie Sticks with Dips
Let’s start with the simplest snack out there: delicious veggie sticks paired with your (or your kiddo’s) favorite dip! Carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and vibrantly colored bell pepper strips—the possibilities are truly endless here—can be accompanied by a vast variety of dipping sauces or hummus. Plus, veggie sticks are incredibly easy to pack in any lunchbox or snack container. With plenty of options out there for small, multipurpose containers, you can really let your culinary imagination go wild here.
Pro Tip: Let your kiddos help you cut and prep your veggies (or fruit!) by using these fun shape cutters! They’ll love being a part of the meal prep process and it’s great for developing those fine motor skills.
Mini Fruit Skewers
Who doesn’t love a rainbow of delicious eats? Another easy to prep snack option for your kiddos that can work for practically any occasion are some delectable mini fruit skewers! Berries, mandarin orange slices, pineapple, kiwi…you can make these skewers as colorful as your kiddos want them to be (or use all of their favorite fruits!). These skewers are also perfectly paired with an easy yogurt, honey, and lemon dipping sauce if you want to add some additional protein and delicious flavor to this snack.
Nut Butter Banana Bites
Bananas are a fantastically delicious source of potassium and energy to help your little ones power through a school day so these nut butter banana bites will definitely be a crowd pleaser. The versatility of this snack opens up opportunities to use the nut butter of your choice or to even introduce a new one to your kiddos. Bonus points for how simple this snack is to make and how well it travels too. Slice a banana into rounds, spread a thin layer of your favorite nut butter on each slice, and sandwich them together (adding chocolate is completely optional).
Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers
GoBe’s Original Snack Spinner is perfect for housing a portable “char-cute-terie” board and for good reason. Pairing whole grain crackers with cheese slices is a delicious, protein-packed combination that is sure to keep little brains fueled for a big day of learning. Also, this is a fun way to also introduce different cheeses and textures to your kiddos too so they can continue exploring their ever-evolving palates.
You can never deny the brilliant simplicity of including trail mix as a lunchtime snack. Amazingly quick and simple to make, easily personalized based on your kiddo’s preferences…there really is not much that can go wrong with this snack. Either follow a recipe you know and love or create a brand new recipe with your kids by mixing together nuts, seeds, whole grain cereal, and a sprinkling of dark chocolate chips (or something sweet!). And voila! You’ve got a crunchy, satisfying snack that delivers a dose of healthy fats and antioxidants.
Even kiddos may need an afternoon energy boost during the day so why not pack a couple of homemade energy bites? These no-bake peanut butter oatmeal energy bites are ready in under 10 minutes which is also a huge time saver in the kitchen. Simply combine unsweetened peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract, rolled oats, chia seeds, and raisins (or chocolate chips if you want more of a cookie dough like treat!), and you’re all set to go! You can also get creative and try different variations by bringing in new ingredients or add-ins to the recipe as well. These bite-sized wonders are packed with energy and love.
Variety is the spice of life, and that goes for your kids' lunchboxes too! Mix and match these snack ideas to keep things exciting and engaging-and don’t be afraid to try something new whenever inspiration strikes! Last but not least, don’t forget to involve your kids in the decision-making and meal prep processes – they’ll love having that sense of independence and the extra bonding time with you as they help with lunch packing.
Cheers to a year filled with yummy bites and endless smiles!