Kids snacks.

Here is a list of snacks that we send the kids to school with. Snacks are definitely tricky. There is just so much junk out there that is labeled ''snack'' food, that it literally makes our task of providing our kids with delicious and nutritious snacks for school a living hell. Junk food (which is marketed as ''snack" food for a very clear purpose) is just so easily available (supermarkets, health food stores, gas stations, vending machines, soccer games, and even from teachers at school, sometimes...), that you really have to make a conscious effort to avoid it. With that in mind, here are a few examples. By the way, if any of you readers have any suggestions or recipes for me, please do post! I am always looking for more variety! I hope this is helpful.
  • Nuts: cashew, Brazil, pistachios, whole almonds...
  • Dry fruit: raisins, cranberries, dates, apricots... many times my husband will make a ''trail mix'' of dry fruit and nuts, with chocolate chips in it- but the trick is to make sure the kids don't eat just the chips :)
  • Pop-corn: real popped corn. Buy kernels and pop them on the stove. Microwave pop-corn is not real pop-corn, it's junk food: it's chock full of hydrogenated oil, and comes in a bag lined with a teflon-like chemical that no child should be ingesting with his or her food.
  • Scones: as long as they are made with whole wheat flour, or a combination of white/whole wheat and oats, so that they have nutrition in them, and not just empty calories from white flour and sugar. Muffins are another choice as well, as long as they are made with good ingredients!
  • Cookies: again, as long as they are made with whole-wheat flour. This is very important in this case, because cookies do have a lot of sugar in them. If there is no whole grain in them, then they are useless (from a nutrition standpoint). Your child will not ''die'' if they go for a day, or 6 hours to be more precise, without sugar, and they will always have a treat after dinner anyway. Save yourself the stress of trying to find a ''proper'' cookie for the school snack and go on to the next category
  • Fruit: strawberries, blueberries, any berries- as long as they are organic! Those are the fruits that are the most heavily sprayed with fungicides and pesticides. Sliced apples, oranges... just don't buy them pre-sliced, because when they come that way they are not fresh, and have lost their nutrients. Canned fruit is not fruit, sorry.
  • Bread: that includes dried bread as well, such as rye-vita
  • Sesame sticks: I get them in bulk at the health food store
  • Fig bars:  I get them in bulk at the health food store; they are whole wheat. ''Fig Newtons" do not count; check the label and you will quickly see why.
  • Granola: just make sure that it is not made with hydrogenated oil, and stuff like corn syrup and the like. Buy good quality only, or make it yourself -much cheaper!
  • Corn chips: this is a tough one. I used to buy organic corn chips, but I cannot find them in anything but plastic bags, so I will not buy them for the time being, until I can figure out where to find them without the plastic bag.
  • Cheese: such simple, delicious food, there is nothing like a little good piece of cheese! A piece of Parmesan, or Cheddar... just make sure that it is not made with milk that contains growth hormones and antibiotics (regular milk), or else all you will be doing is to feeding your kids growth hormones and antibiotics, really. Not a good idea if you do not want your children to grow and enter puberty faster than they should- an alarming trend in the US these days...
  • Yogurt: a tricky one as well. If you pack it at home, then there is no waste. Yogurt containers are not recyclable, and the fruit flavored ones have so much sugar that, if you were to measure the actual amount of yogurt in the little pot, you'd be outraged at what you are actually getting for your money. Buy plain, and put honey, maple syrup or agave in it yourself. And, again, make sure that it is organic! ''Go-gurt'' is not yogurt! 
I do not pack granola bars anymore because of the trash that they generate. Also, many of them contain too much sugar and/or, worse, corn syrup, and other chemicals. There are some good ones out there, but they are expensive and, again, come wrapped in plastic.

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