Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh Nuts

   When my son began kindergarten, I think I was more worried about packing his lunch then him learning to read.  I knew he was curious and would do fine in school.  After the luxury of lunches at home I wasn't sure how to transport something healthy.  When I thought of school lunches the images that came to mind were corn syrup or salt laden packaged foods disguised as snacks.  Now I know these snacks are convenient, but I was very fussy about what went into my children for the first five years.  Why should I switch to less nutritious choices?  Portioned cups of mixed nuts are a great protein filled snack.  If you encounter nut allergies try these snacks that pack well and keep learners full and focused.

* Cheesesticks
*Babybel cheese. These come in wax packages that are fun to mold and shape after eating.
*Fruit. Apples and oranges travel better than bananas. I include an orange peeler stick.
*Fruit Strips,  the healthy cousin to fruit rollups made with fruit juice.
*Homemade Muffins
*Ants on a Log
*Laughing Cow Cheese on celery sticks or rice cakes.  These are fun for the kids to make.
*Applesauce.  Pour unsweetened applesauce into reusable cups or buy the unsweetened little cups.
*Fruit cups packaged in juice only
*Raisins. My lunchers love the mini boxes of "baby raisins" and we pour them into cups too.
*Pumpkin Seeds toasted or mixed with trail mix.
*Pumpkin seed butter. Tastes similar to peanut butter.  Makes a great sandwich spread or dip.


  1. I like the way you think. Right now I am trying to figure out how to keep my busy teen fed. She leaves the house at 7:30am, finishes school at 3, starts sports practice at 4:30, practice ends at 6:30 and play practice begins. M/W/F she either have Games or I pick her up from play practice for the Dojo. So in short she needs a healthy after school snack and a portable healthy dinner that is tree nut and peanut free and does not require refrigeration. She is about to eat more apples and pears than she knows what to do with since they are local, in season and travel well. :)Any suggestions?

  2. My husband eats Breakfast on the Go by Emeralds. They are in the cereal section of the grocery store. When I leave to substitute teach, I know he will eat these at this convenience.

  3. THM apples and pears are a great idea. I like to take hard boiled eggs and hummus with carrots on the go in a lunch pack with a freezer insert added.

  4. Carol mmm...those look good. Do they make a nut free flavor?

    1. No. Different nuts. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bananas are his favorites, but there are other ones he accepts also. He feels this is a treat and he often doesn't eat eggs and bacon or oatmeal anymore.

  5. We do lots of smoothies here. I've never sent them to school, but I think they'd work well in thermos. I may have to give it a try. Air-popped popcorn works well in a lunch or for snack. Pumpkin seeds are a great idea! We'll give those a try!

  6. Barb, I've never packed smoothies, but it sounds great. My sister loves to drink them on her way to work. Thanks Joie!

  7. Barb popcorn is a great idea. Air popped sounds nice and healty. We make ours on the stove and it is so delicious for movie nights. We gave up microwave popcorn a few years ago.