Back to school…so bittersweet, isn’t it?! I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to the return of routine and the empty house after 9:00 am but I’m not looking forward to the lunches. You may think I have this all figured out but I really don’t and here is the reason why. First, we all get stuck in our ways, we find one thing that works and we stick to it. Secondly, one week our kids are loving sandwiches the next week they tell you that they are never going to eat another sandwich for as long as they live. Finally, I consistently put time and effort into my girl’s lunches and I would say atleast 50% of the time they don’t touch certain things. Needless to say, we all end up in a rut with food wasted and empty tummies.
As part of this new food adventure that I am on, I am feeling the need to seek out new forms of inspiration for both myself and the readers of this blog. For inspiration, I’ve put together 5 easy nut free snack ideas to go in your kid’s lunches. There is an emphasis put on protein in these recipes as I hear from many Moms that this is a constant challenge to include in school packed lunches. With each snack idea, there is a secret ingredient which will give your kids the extra energy and nutrition they need to get through the day.
Snack Idea #1
Sesame Hemp Protein Bars
These bars are made of such simple ingredients (4 to be exact), sesame seeds, hemp, honey and salt. Who doesn’t want simple right? All the ingredients included in these bars are equally awesome in themselves. Sesame is a great source of calcium, hemp a great form of protein and honey is such a great natural source of sweetness filled with so many antioxidants. Honestly what more could you ask for? Oh right, does it taste good? You bet.
Snack Idea #2
Chickpea Cinnamon Trail Mix
Chickpeas in the vegan world are a staple for protein and the majority of us eat it regularly in hummus. I truly love roasting chickpeas and with this recipe I roasted them covered in cinnamon. Why is cinnamon such a great seasoning? Cinnamaldehyde is the power source in cinnamon that provides all it’s great properties. A couple of those wonderful features is antifungal and antibacterial properties making cinnamon such a great addition to any snack.
Snack Idea #3
Bite Size Protein Banana Muffins (Gluten Free)
One of the great advantages to using alternate flours is the addition of great plant based proteins. This recipe uses a combination of quinoa and chickpea flours which I feel balances out the flavours. Of course, don’t forget about bananas which is a great energy source and filled with potassium. This combination in a mini quick bite can really pack punch of goodness during the day. This is a must try!
Snack Idea #4
Tahini Choco Chip Energy Bars or Balls
My kids did cartwheels over this one, to them it is a sweet treat. To me, it’s a pat on the back! The best part about these energy balls is the tahini. What is tahini? It is basically sesame seed paste. Why should we eat it? Its full of benefits, protein source, copper, manganese, calcium, zinc and good fats! Did you stumble at copper? Me too. Copper helps with the formation of collagen, increases the absorption of iron and plays a role in energy production. So, this is the perfect mid-day snack at school!
Snack Idea #5
Rich Healthy Chocolate Pudding
Okay this is my new favourite for my girls and it has a secret ingredient. The base of this yummy pudding is avocado and guess what, my kids don’t know it. This is such an easy and fun way to pack fiber, great fats and tons of nutrients such as vitamin Bs and Ks. Not to mention, it takes 5 mins to make, it’s raw and only has three ingredients. Cacao, is ingredient number three and also happens to be one of my favourites. It is one of today’s modern superfoods full of antioxidants, fat, carbohydrates, protein the list goes on. It also contains something called theobromine, which is non-addictive natural stimulant. Hopefully this well help the brain neurons fire in the classroom!