8 Healthy Back-To-School Snacks
“Planning snacks into your kiddo’s day is a great way to keep them healthy and energized through classes and after-school activities,” says Megan Davis, MS, RD, LD with UAB EatRight. We asked her to share her favorite kid- (and adult-!) friendly recipes that are big on health and great taste.
Melt It: Calcium-packed cheese is even harder to resist in its ooey-gooey state.
- Apple Quesadillas
Place a wholegrain tortilla in a hot pan and top half with reduced fat shredded cheddar and thinly sliced apples. Fold the tortilla in half and cook until browned on both sides. Cut into wedges, and serve.
Nutrition Star: Apples are fiber-rich and a good source of vitamin C.
- Pita Nachos
Use store-bought baked pita chips or make your own by splitting 1whole-wheat pita into 2 rounds, then cutting into wedges and broiling until golden. Sprinkle chips with low-fat grated cheese and chopped tomatoes, and broil until cheese melts.
Nutrition Star: Tomatoes are a very good source of vitamins A, C, and K.
Dip It: Dips are a great way to encourage kids to try new foods and have fun doing it.
- Honey Mustard Dip
In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup plain yogurt, ¼ cup honey, and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard. Serve the dip surrounded by 1 pound sugar snap peas, ends removed.
Nutrition Star: The healthy bacteria in yogurt boosts kids’ immune systems.
Mix 1/2 cup prepared salsa, 2 smashed avocados, and 2 tablespoons each lime juice and chopped cilantro. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
Nutrition Star: Avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and other essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, fiber, folate, and vitamins B6, C, and K.
Smear It: Spreads like nut butters and cream cheese add healthy fats or protein for long-lasting energy.
Spread reduced fat peanut butter on a whole grain cracker. Top with thinly sliced strawberries, drizzle with honey, and top each with another cracker.
Nutrition Star: One serving of strawberries boasts even more vitamin C than an orange.
- Cinnamon Raisin Dip
Blend 1 8-ounce package nonfat cream cheese with 1 tablespoon nonfat milk, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Stir in 1/3 cup raisins and serve with baby carrots and celery sticks or apple and pear wedges.
Nutrition Star: Cream cheese and milk provide a healthy dose of calcium and protein.
Wrap It: Sneak healthy foods into a tortilla to get kids to eat even the stuff they don’t love.
- Bean and Cheese Roll Ups
Spread prepared bean dip on a whole wheat tortilla, top with reduced fat shredded cheddar, and roll up. Lightly spray with cooking spray and bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Serve with chunky salsa.
Nutrition Stars: The calcium in the cheese, protein and fiber in the beans and tortilla, and lycopene in the salsa provide an extra nutritional punch.
- Peanut Butter and Banana Wraps
Spread 2 tablespoons reduced fat peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla and top with banana slices and a sprinkle of crunchy cereal; then roll up.
Nutrition Star: Pick a cereal with added iron, folate and B vitamins for a healthy boost.
More Back-to-School Tips
*Recipes adapted from Foodnetwork.com, spoonful.com, parents.com and eatbetteramerica.com