2020 was the year that showed us just how precious our health really was.
Once our impromptu homeschooling experiences end, it will be time to think about keeping your kids healthy at school. How do you do that when you can only provide them snacks, and there seem to be more dietary restrictions in the classroom than not?
Believe it or not, kids love the snack ideas below, and they’re great immune support as well.
Need ideas? Got a picky eater and feel like processed, junky snacks are your only option?
Check out the suggestions below.
Red Bell Peppers and Hummus
One of the best ways to keep your children’s immune system strong is to eat all the colors of the rainbow.
No, not like the Skittles commercial. If you were to take a picture of all the food you eat, what would the dominant color be?
Choosing naturally bright colored food will keep your tastebuds excited and your antioxidant levels high.
Bright red bell peppers are a great example. They taste great dipped in ranch or hummus and are cheap to buy. You can cut them in whatever shape you’d like, making sure they’re appropriate for your child’s age and hand size.
What you may not know about red bell peppers is that they have even more vitamin c than an orange does, along with a comparable amount of beta carotene to carrots.
Worried your child will think they’re spicy? Send some ranch along. The creaminess of the ranch will mask whatever sensation the red peppers provide.
What kid doesn’t love berries? Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are all so sweet and delicious, you can convince your child that they’re nature’s candy.
Those sweet-tasting little orbs of goodness don’t just taste good – they’re good for you too! Berries have an impressively high antioxidant count, which is a key player in immune health.
As long as you buy them in season, they’re not too expensive. You can buy blueberries and raspberries non-organic, as they grow on bushes/trees. Strawberries, on the other hand, grow very close to the ground, so it’s better to go organic when you buy them.
Did you forget about your berries in the fridge, and they seem too mushy to send to school? Throw them in the blender and surprise your kids with a smoothie for breakfast. If berries are natures’ candy, then smoothies are natures’ milkshakes.
For a generation who grew up on PB&J, it’s hard to send kids to a school where there are no nuts allowed. Back in our day, kids who were allergic just didn’t touch the nuts or carried around an epi-pen.
How times have changed. Now, if you want to make your child a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the only safe choice is sun butter, which comes from sunflower seeds.
Justin’s Nut Butter and other low sugar brands make Reese’s like sunbutter cups with dark chocolate, which seem like an indulgence to your child, but actually aren’t that bad.
Yogurt is a great immune-boosting snack for kids because it has pro and prebiotics. Yes – there’s a difference.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria you introduce into your diet (they’re usually added to yogurts) and prebiotics are the good bacteria that naturally occur in foods.
Yogurt is a great choice because it provides both.
Pre and probiotics keep your gut biome healthy. Stomach pain and gut issues can be directly tied to immune health, but also to behavior problems.
If your child is seeming sluggish and low energy, try adding some extra yogurt into their diet. As their biome perks up, so should they!
Not into dairy? There are coconut, soy, and goat yogurts as well. Since yogurt is fermented for a period, no matter what milk source it uses, those non-dairy options have good bacteria as well.
If you’ve never heard of Kefir, it’s a milk-like yogurt substance. It isn’t dairy-free, so if your family or child is, you’ll want to skip this section.
Kefir usually comes in large bottles or travel-friendly packages. It’s so chock-full of good bacteria that if you go to a traditional Korean BBQ restaurant (think lots of meat and starch) they give you kefir to finish off your meal with.
It’s meant to help you digest all the food you just ate and keep you from feeling like you do after thanksgiving.
Plus, you can tell your kids that kefir is a special milkshake. It usually comes in fruit flavors. If you’ve ever had a mango lassi at an Indian restaurant, it’s kind of like that.
But a word of warning – kefir is strong! Start with a half serving at first and make sure it doesn’t cause any quick effects before you send it with your child to school.
It’s 100% safe for kids, but it’s something some kids have to work up to.
Use Lunch Mob for Healthy Snacks for Kids at School
If you feed your child a variety of foods and colors, their immune system should be thriving. But it never hurts to give it a boost!
Instead of buying vitamins and supplements for immune support for kids, make some of the above snacks a part of your child’s school day.
Here’s to healthy, happy kids!