Back to school conceptIt’s back to school time!  That means back to packing lunches and snacks so you can send your kids off to school with healthy options.  Usually we plan our lunches and snacks the night before and we get out all the ingredients and make or pack what we can so we are not rushed in the morning.  It important to vary the options so that your kids don’t get bored and so they don’t want to buy lunch which is full of unwanted ingredients, additives, preservatives, sugar and bad fats.    I also try to keep it interesting with fun waste free lunch wraps and food storage containers from that make their lunches more colorful and eye pleasing.  This helps save on plastic baggies and extra waste too!

The key to a healthy snacks and lunches in my opinion is to send some healthy fat and protein options for optimal brain function and blood sugar control (Read more in my book The Skinny on Fats).  Sending them off with a bag of cookies and juice is NOT going to help them get through the day.  Don’t worry—it’s easier than you think.

You can opt for no-fuss options in your lunches or for a quick snack like:

  • Number 1 choice – leftovers!!  Easy heat up and put in a thermos for a healthy meal
  • Soups or chili – again heat up and put in a thermos container
  • Raw nuts or fun trail mixes with dried fruit added in
  • Applegate organic roasted turkey and raw cheese or scrambled eggs in a coconut wrap
  • Hard boiled organic eggs (great topped with Celtic sea salt)
  • Fresh fruit and yogurt – opt for plain, whole milk yogurt and berries for the lowest sugar option
  • Raw cheese slices and snack sticks from grass-fed animals – try these EPIC bars or jerky sticks
  • Smoothies – use coconut milk as the base for healthy fats and add berries and raw honey to taste.  Put in a thermos to take to school
  • Easy-to-eat veggies like cut up carrots, bell peppers and cucumbers with homemade dips like hummus and guacamole (see recipes below!)
  • Read more about brain food ideas here
  • You can also buy many healthy snacks online at this amazing market – shop now and get 25% off your order and FREE Shipping!

Try getting your kids involved and making a few of these kid-friendly dips below…

Homemade hummus is a fantastic choice for packing in lunches or for after school snacking!  It is traditionally made with chickpeas or Garbanzo beans, which are one of the most nutritious of all the legumes, high in calcium, phosphorus and potassium. They have exceptionally high iron and Vitamin C content and contain B complex as well.  Like all pulses, they are rich in essential fatty acids however quite a bit higher in Omega-6 compared to Omega-3, therefore I added flax oil to give more of a balance in the recipe below.  More about essential fatty acid balance can be found in my book The Skinny on Fats.

Hummus Recipe
1               can organic garbanzo beans a.k.a chick peas, drained
(I use Eden BPA-free cans or can use fresh and cook them first)
3- 4         cloves organic garlic
3 Tbsp    organic, raw tahini
¼ C        organic fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
½ Tbsp  cumin
⅛ tsp     Celtic Sea Salt
1 Tbsp    flax oil (I use Barlean’s in dark container!)
Cayenne pepper (add to taste)

Put garbanzo beans/chick peas in food processor until beginning to break up and get smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients and process until well mixed and smooth.

Another great way to get some healthy fats and help your kids focus in school is Guacamole!

When choosing avocados, select fruits that are uniformly soft but still ever-so-slightly firm – you don’t want to be able to poke your finger into a soft spot. Ripe avocados are generally also darker overall than unripe, brighter green avocados.

Guacamole Dip

2       ripe avocados
2       tablespoons lime juice
1       cup tomato, chopped
¼     cup onion, chopped
¼     cup cilantro, minced
2       cloves garlic, minced
2       teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt or to taste
¼     teaspoon cayenne

Servings:  4-6                   Prep:  10-15 minutes

Scoop avocados out of their shells and mash them in a bowl.  Cover with lime juice to prevent browning.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Add more sea salt to taste and additional lime juice if desired.  Chill and serve.