So I’ve got a full fledged student on my hands now that Molly is in grade 1. When she was in half day kindergarten I only had to worry about sending her a morning snack and then she went off to daycare for the afternoon where they took care of her lunch and afternoon snack. Our school has a few snack and lunch policies – Nut free, litterless and healthy. Nut free is pretty standard these days, litterless isn’t a huge deal and they aren’t unreasonable with the healthy part of the policy. I generally send her fruit or a healthy(ish) homemade snack for the morning and her lunch may have a small “treat” like a cookie in it. So it doesn’t seem like this should be hard but it is! The first couple of weeks I rocked it. But we aren’t even a month in and I’m struggling with what the heck to send her every day so she doesn’t get the same thing over and over. And to top it all of she has recently decided she’s a vegetarian. Unless it’s chicken nuggets. Yeah great.
I do try and send Molly as much home made stuff as I can but let’s be honest, there are just those weeks you don’t have time to bake up a storm and it’s also fun to send the kids a store bought “treat” here and there. So, here are a few of our current favorite products to keep lunch and snack time tasty and not too boring.
1. Dempster’s® 100% Whole Grains Wheat Pita Pockets
These are easily the most yummy Pitas I’ve ever bought. They are thick and soft and have a wonderful texture. They also make an awesome baked pita chip that get crispy but not brittle with a new chew in the middle.
To make pita chips – Use a bread knife to cut the pitas into wedges. Brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder and sea salt. Bake at 425 for about 5-7 minutes until slightly browned and crispy on top.
2. Summer Fresh Original Hummus
Molly loves hummus. Or so she kept telling me. They often had it at daycare and she loved it there. But every time I brought some home she wouldn’t eat it. She claimed “it wasn’t the same”. And then finally I brought home some Summer Fresh original Hummus and, finally, I found THE ONE. She loves this with our “homemade” pits chips and takes this for her lunch often.
3. Walmart Great Value Cereal Bars
When I started looking at granola type bars that I could send for a snack or part of Molly’s lunch I was actually quite surprised to discover that most of the big brands had a terrible selection of nut free options available. But some of the store brands have really picked up the slack on this and Walmart has a pretty decent offering of nut free snacks and treats. These bars come in a few different fruit varieties and they might not be the healthiest snack I don’t mind sending them once or twice a week in her back pack.
4. Babybell Cheese
Who doesn’t love a Babybell? They’ve been a favorite snack in our house forever. They are also the perfect size to put in my six year old’s lunch (and also pair up nicely with the hummus and pita). I also love that they come in a number of varieties now. I just open them up at dispose of the wrapper at home.
5. Bear Paws Mini Fruits
There are about a million fruit gummy type snacks on the store shelves these days. I don’t buy them very often but every once in a while I’ll pick up a package. I decided to try these Dare Bear Paw ones because – they are nut free and Molly has enjoyed other Bear Paw products. These were a hit. In fact I was told “these are the best gummies ever!”
I really do cook!
Stop by next week and I will share five of our favorite homemade (or close to it) school lunch and snack ideas!