I made a decision a couple of years ago to stop buying packaged granola bars and other quick snack foods from the grocery store. The kids had begun talking about litter-less lunches at school, and that got me thinking about what I was seeing in their classmates lunch bags each day. A container of yogurt, a wrapped bar, a packaged cookie, a sandwich baggie, a lunchable container and a juice box all adds up to not only a lot of package waste, but a lot of processed foods our kids do not need to be consuming.
The commitment was made and the switch was on! Reusable containers for everything.
I started buying only large size natural unflavoured yogurt that I spoon into my own reusable containers for their lunch and adding real fruit, not sugary flavouring. Milk in stainless steel containers that keeps it cold and no boxes to dispose of or sugary juices for the kids. Sandwich and cut up fruit in reusable containers and only homemade snacks.
Homemade snacks? . . .uhg!
That was the big one. Committing to making enough homemade snacks so that each of my 3 kids gets 2 snacks a day in their lunch, five days a week (thats 30 snacks a week!) seemed like an big investment of time to me, and time that I didn’t have. I started slow, one weekend I made a batch of healthy cookies (30) and muffins (36) and immediately put them in the freezer. Amazingly, I now had healthy school snacks for 2 weeks, for 3 kids!
It no longer seemed like such a daunting task when I could bake for an hour on the weekend and it gave me enough healthy snacks for my kids for two weeks. I can proudly say it has been almost two full school years now and I have only had to resort to unwrapping a box of granola bars on a couple of occasions when the freezer ran dry!
Give it a try. You might surprise yourself how fun and easy baking your kids school snacks can be. Get the kids involved in finding new recipes and helping out with the baking! Find out what they like and then google with the word “healthy” in front for a recipe that is light on sugar and fats and big on flavour. Add in bananas, apples, raisons, zucchini, carrots and invest in some good freezer storage containers!
Homemade School Snack Ideas:
Chocolate Kale Muffins
Carrot, Zucchini, Apple Mini Muffins
Healthy Oatmeal Banana Bread
Oatmeal Bananarama Cookies
Kids Favorite Granola Cups
Flax Oat Bran Muffins
Apple Cheddar Bars
Pumpkin Granola bars
Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins
Chocolate Chip Black Bean Brownies
The possibilities are endless! Happy baking!