Tight on time? Our 5 healthy snack and lunch ideas – ready in 10 minutes or less – will help inspire you to up the quality of your child’s daily diet without breaking a sweat!
Canada is one of the few industrialized countries without a national school food program. That leaves the burden of packing healthy lunches squarely on parents. For many, it’s a complicated daily struggle – making it all too easy to fall back on packaged, processed lunches that are sorely lacking the good nutrition kids need to thrive. What’s worse, gravitating towards these ‘convenience’ foods also encourages the development of both poor and picky eating habits, compounding the typical difficulties faced at the dinner table.
The good news? You can still keep things quick and easy without sacrificing nutrition!
By working together with your child, you can create home-made lunches and snacks that they will both enjoy and will benefit from. By building your child’s lunches with a balance of whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, quality meats, fish, legumes and seeds – as well as relying on truly natural sweeteners when needed, like maple syrup, raw honey or coconut sugar – you’ll provide a foundation for success both in and out of the classroom!
To help you make it all happen – in the shortest amount of time – we’ve put together our 5 in 10 list: 5 healthy snacks, and lunches, that you can put together in 10 minutes or less!
Pumpkin Seed Butter Protein Bites:
Take 1 cup of organic instant oats, ½ cup of organic pumpkin seed butter, ⅓ cup of raisins, ½ cup of milled chia seed and sweeten to taste with a little raw organic honey. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, then hand roll into small balls. They can be eaten on the spot for a quick snack, or chilled overnight for improved firmness!
Peppermint Chia Pudding (Dairy-Free, Vegan)
This delicious, refreshing snack is packed with Omega 3 essential fats and is dairy-free and vegan. You can check out the complete recipe here: http://www.naturesemporium.com/recipe/featured-recipe-peppermint-chia-pudding-dairy-free-vegan/
Raspberry Peach Acai Smoothie Bowl (Dairy-Free, Vegan)
Embrace the bowl! Omega 3 essential fats, fiber and a tonne of antioxidants make this a fast, fantastic snack for kids that you can easily pack into a thermos or tight sealing tupperware. Find the full recipe here: http://www.naturesemporium.com/recipe/featured-recipe-raspberry-peach-acai-smoothie-bowl-dairy-free-vegan/
Homemade Greek Yogurt Parfait w/ Georgian Bay Granola Company Granola and Tiger Nuts
This is a simple, healthy snack that provides the quality nutrition your child needs to keep focused and fascinated. Tiger nuts are packed with fiber, loaded with magnesium (naturally calming), potassium (crucial for proper muscle function) healthy fats (similar to olive oil) and protein (for healthy growth and development).
⅓ of a cup of Plain Organic Greek Yogurt (we like the full fat variety, with a teaspoon of Maple Syrup for sweetening), ¼ cup of organic mixed berries and a sprinkle of granola and tigernuts makes for a filling and satisfying snack any time of day. We recommend keeping the ingredients separate (in their own little containers) until snack time.
Silver Hills Rappleberry Bagel with Organic Cream or Ricotta Cheese and Organic Strawberries
Silver Hills Bakery uses sprouted grains exclusively, which enhances the digestibility of grains, while improving the nutritional composition. That’s because sprouting breaks down the ‘protective shell’ – a natural defense that includes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors – of the grain, which typically prevents their proper digestion.
Organic ricotta cheese then provides a complete protein rich, creamy bed for antioxidant rich, freshly thin-sliced organic strawberries. The result is a nutritious & delicious combo that’ll keep hunger at bay!
Banana Roll Ups:
Use an ezekiel wrap, spread on sunflower butter, add honey, sprinkle on some hemp, add a banana and roll. In mere seconds, you’ve got the makings of a nutrient packed, delicious lunch or snack that’s portable and super kid-friendly!
Toasted Mini Pizzas:
Use Ozery Bakery Whole Grain Wheat Mini Pitas as your base, top with some organic, nitrate-free pepperoni, 3-4 tbsp of organic tomato sauce and some grass-fed cheese (with a little bit of garden-fresh basil on top). 10 minutes in the toaster oven at 350 yields delicious little pizzas your little one will love!
Home-Packed Bento Box:
Skip the processed lunch-packs and opt for slice up cucumber, pepper, carrot and celery, pair with some hummus, cheese cubes, Mary’s Thins crackers, slices of Nature’s whole roasted chicken breast. We sell a variety of great little bento boxes in-store that will help make packing a nutritious lunch-to-go easy!
Ezekiel Protein Wrap
An Ezekiel wrap with soy-free vegenaise, organic oven roasted turkey or nitrate-free black forest ham, a sprinkle of hemp hearts, a few slices of organic cheese, some pea shoots and some thinly sliced cucumbers all wrapped up and held together with toothpicks… yum!
Try a Breakfast-Lunch:
While it might seem counter-intuitive, the makings of a great breakfast are often just as relevant at the lunch bell. Plus, in our experience, kid’s often enjoy the occasional treat of a hearty ‘breakfast’ outside the typical timing.
Pack a thermos of maple-syrup sweetened oatmeal, with the added nutritional punch of chopped walnuts, raisins and a sprinkling of hemp hearts. The extra thermos time softens the walnuts and raisins, improving the texture of a traditional breakfast table favourite!
Now It’s Your Turn!
Whether you’re tight on time, or just looking to integrate a bit of variety into the tired old granola bar and sandwich routine, we hope our 5 snack and lunch ideas will help get you inspired.
Be sure to share your favourite quick, healthy snack or lunch ideas in the comments below – we’d love to hear how you’re keeping good health on the menu for your little ones!