Healthy Snacks to Pack in Your Child’s Lunchbox

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Healthy Snacks to Pack in Your Child’s Lunchbox

By Marsha Hargrave

Mid-morning and afternoon snacks are considered the most important supplemental meals for kids. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day but all you can do is rush through it as a family because you have to get the kids to school before you go to your workplace, it’s time to consider preparing more nutritious snacks for your kids to eat at school.

After spending at least eight hours sleeping, your child will have to come up with the energy for schoolwork and play. Munching on cereals in record time and gulping half a glass of milk can supply that energy, but he must also eat healthy snacks at mid-morning for maintaining a high level of energy.

Now, let’s define what a healthy snack is. A healthy snack must be filling enough to keep your child from starving until lunch time, yet be nutritious enough to pass as power breakfast food. Carbohydrates and protein-rich food with very low transfat and sugar content make the ideal power snacks for your kids.

If you’re looking for something healthier to pack in your child’s school lunchbox, here are some alternative ideas.

  • Crackers and cheese
  • High fiber cookies
  • Cereal bars
  • Baby carrots
  • Dried fruit
  • Air popped popcorn (plain)
  • Low fat peanut butter on whole wheat bread
  • Apple slices with low fat caramel dipping sauce
  • Homemade snack mix with cereal, dried fruit and nuts
  • 100 calorie snack packs of their favorite cookies or crackers

These snack foods are awesome on their own, if your kids stick with them. However, these snacks have to weigh more in your kids’ mind than the ultimate sweet treats… candies. You know by now that candy not only has very little nutritional value, it can also damage your child’s teeth. Most kids feel great after eating candy for snacks because of the sugar rush, but if eating candy during snack time becomes a habit, it’s just a matter of time before your child shuns  healthy snacks altogether and simply go for his yummy (albeit unhealthy) treats.

Here’s one way to make your child choose the healthy goodies you prepared over candy. Arrange the food around his lunchbox the night before with your little angel’s help! Letting your child help with the preparations will make him feel proud of himself and his new skills. Let him daydream about being a top chef someday as he eats the food he prepared the night before during snack time. It makes a child proud to be able to say he prepares his own meals.

Providing healthy foods are just one way that parents can encourage kids to have a healthy lifestyle. For more information about children’s health and fitness [] as well as tips for adults, visit: [].

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  1. Patti Brandt · · Reply

    I must disagree with the suggestion of ‘100 calorie’ cookie packs, as well as cereal bars. Many times these choices are laden with chemicals like artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Even if they are touted as low fat and low calorie this often means more processing equaling even more chemicals. As moms it is up to us to guide our children to eating healthier, which means steering away from so many processed foods. Let’s teach our kids to choose whole foods free of artificial ingredients. I don’t believe God ever intended us to eat chemicals!

  2. Mildred · · Reply

    Excellent advice for children from their Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Teachers, Friends. I will pass on to our Sons & Daughter-in-Laws for our Granddaughters!

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