Healthful Lunchbox Snacks

Posted on September 13th, 2012 by Helen | Posted in Newsletter Articles

“I can’t find my homework! Hurry! Get your backpack! Did you brush your teeth? We’re leaving in 3 minutes!” Perhaps you can relate to the morning rush that seems to be a frequent feature of my family life.

Morning is a time when we try to feed our kids well, gather what’s needed for the day, and connect with family before being separated. It’s also when healthful lunches and snacks need to be made for all those little busy bodies about to read, problem-solve, pay attention, play well together and be good citizens.

It can be tough to find the time to purchase and pull together balanced, nutritious “brain and body fuel”. It’s quick to buy a family pack of some brightly-colored, sugar-coated snack “foods” and then be able to shove them into the kids’ lunch bags with a peanut-butter sandwich, and rush out the door as the school day begins. However, for a comparable amount of money and time, you can offer a tempting variety of nutritious, delicious, unprocessed foods that your kids will love. Kids want snacks that taste great and are easy to eat. With these criteria in mind, let’s take a field trip through LifeSource and see what tasty school-ready snacks we can spy!

Aisle One: Here’s a selection of ready to go string cheese and sliced cheeses, along with spreadable cheeses and dry salamis. We also offer a huge selection of yogurts in individual-serving cups, chocolate puddings, and natural orange or cherry gel (“jello”) cups.

Aisle Four: Wow. We have such a huge variety of crunchy, salty, savory and filling snacks that you could have a different one every day of the month! Chips include yellow, blue, and white corn, black bean, flax, sweet potato, beet, multi-grain, pita, brown rice and nut, cassava root, rice, sesame, seaweed, falafel, and spelt. There are pretzels of all shapes and sizes, delicious popcorns, veggie stix, gluten-free options, and baked cheese puffs that don’t have all those artificial flavors colors. And don’t leave Aisle Four without checking out raw cookies, jerky, pumpkin seeds, dried kale (great flavors and great for you!), packaged dried fruits and veggies, and a rainbow of fruit strips.

Aisle Five: This is a treasure trove for snackers of all ages: tasty, crunchy cereals and granolas, apple sauces and canned fruits, granola and fig bars, scrumptious cookies (baked and raw varieties) with lots of gluten-free options. Then there are the nut butters: peanut and almond, sunflower seed and sesame, and wonderful combinations of these. And THEN there are the food and meal bars, those handy little packages of nutritious fuel ready to tuck into a lunch bag or backpack. Oh, my…the selection of bars is kind of thrilling if you’re a bar-eating outdoor person like me!

Aisle Six: Here’s where you’ll find tasty crackers and rice cakes made with all sorts of grains, nuts, seeds, and rices, including a bunch of gluten-free options.

Aisle Seven: Roasted seaweed snacks—light, airy, savory, delicious, addictive!

Aisle Eight: Our cold deli is where you’ll find all the good stuff to make roll-ups and wraps, as well as hearty, filling Manna Bread (try carrot raisin, cinnamon date, or fruit/nut spice) and raw macaroons—yum!

Aisle Nine: We’ve arrived at our bulk food mecca! You can grind your own nut butters and get savory sesame sticks, veggie chips, Zen party mix, “Amaizing” corn snack, trail mixes galore, yogurt raisins and pretzels, tons of different nuts (including raw ones), mouthwatering dried fruits such as cherries, cranberries, pineapple, and banana chips, and, of course, granola in all its crunchy goodness.

Our fresh, organic produce section is also an obvious place to find wonderful, healthy, preparation-free snack foods for your family.

Here are five ideas for tasty, balanced snack combinations (using reusable containers, of course): organic yogurt, salted almonds and a carrot; string cheese, sweet potato chips and an apple; beef jerky, baked cheese puffs and a fruit strip; nutty granola or trail mix and a banana; mini roll-up of spreadable cheese and dry salami in a tortilla (cut into segments), and dried cranberries.

As you see, these snacks take basically zero preparation and you can provide a superb menu of nutritious snacks—brain and body fuel—for your family (and yourself!). As we get into a new academic year and all the logistics, stress, and excitement it entails, it’s nice to have one piece coming together—ideas for feeding the family easily and well.