Article By Wellthy Soul’s Layne Bruner
Do you ever wish you could be that Pinterest Mom? She nails every meal, her cupcakes look TV show quality and her food images are perfect. Me too, however, I will never be that Mom and I am okay with that. I can still give me kids snacks that are both creative and healthy and don’t take me hours on hours to make. I am the Pinterest Mom’s long lost cousin. She’s super nice and means well but her fruit butterflies look like slightly mushy caterpillars. Got the picture?
Two important times for snacks
With two school-age boys, I have had plenty of opportunities to witness a joyful and easy pickup. Adversely I have had the nightmare of a cranky child at pick up. One that turns to his brother and sends a clutched fist right into the belly for no apparent reason. Then the screaming and crying ensue. You know the situation. I have learned the best trick of my life to combat this issue head-on. Read on for details.
School’s out snack
This small snack slides quickly into the hand of your kid immediately after the kiss and hug. It probably includes some kind of natural sugar to balance out the low blood sugar level that your child has due to lunch being a few hours earlier. This snack will save your car ride home, I promise. Does your child ride home with family or on the bus? No problem. Give instruction at the beginning of the day for your kiddo to “eat the power-pack snack” (or whatever name you want to create) right when their bottom hits the car seat. Then when you see them next, they will be calm, cool and collected. I have proven this trick time and time again. Here is an excellent option for your child’s post-school snack.
Home-Made Trail Mix
Nuts are packed with macronutrients including carbs, protein, and fat. They are some of the easiest and most satiating plants available. Mix those with some dried fruit or dark chocolate for the small burst of sugar and your kiddo should be balanced within 15-20 minutes of school dismissal. You can either make the trail mix if you are very particular about ingredients or you can purchase an organic or non-GMO bag of trail mix. Just make sure that you can read and understand all of the ingredients on the bag. Next, understanding nut sensitivities, we gave a nut-free option.
Nut-free snack option
Knowing that all kiddos don’t have the luxury of nuts and nut butter, this back to school snack for busy moms comes recommended from one of our close friends who has two children who suffer from food allergies, Organic Crunchy Rice Rollers. Once we were offered the snack, our crew couldn’t get enough. Also gluten-free and dairy-free, this portable snack is a no brainer! You can order them online by clicking the link below or pick them up at your local grocery or even Walmart.
The get back home snack
Now you are back home and you made the car ride without anyone crying. WINNING. It’s time to find a back to school snack for busy moms that is both nutritious and will get your child from this point to dance, sports practice, music lessons or whatever is next. Being a realist and knowing that I not only take care of kids but I stay busy as a health coach for other women, I need snacks that are easy, yummy and take little time. I need my boys fed and doing homework because I am sure I’ll be shuffling them off to practice within a few hours. These next ideas are my kind of Pinterest, meaning I can’t mess them up.
Ice cube tray of nutrients
Purchase an ice tray or two that will be used for snacks alone. Fill that thing up with nuts, jerky, crackers, sliced fresh fruit, dried fruit, fresh vegetables, maybe a few gummies and they favorite cereal. Then let your child make positive food choices. Take that time to explain the vitamins and minerals in common fruit and veggies. Teach them about protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats and why our bodies need all of those things to function well.
This back to school snack for busy moms from The Little Many Joys, is so easy your kids can help make it. I found this on Pinterest and immediately knew we were on board. Wait, hold on. I have to be honest. Since I am a health coach, I questioned sharing the Nutella Hazelnut Spread with you as it contains some ingredients that aren’t excellent for our bodies. I do, however, buy it for my family on occasion. If you don’t, just replace the Nutella with an organic jelly or even local honey to capture the sweet taste. Pairing the nut butter, banana and tortilla will complete your macro balance.
Taco Pockets are a great back to school snack that takes a little more prep time but are easily frozen. When I made these snacks from www.iwashyoudry.com for the Bruner Boys as a test, I got rave reviews- even from my husband, Manny. You will need to write these ingredients on your shopping list because you probably don’t have raw dough in your house. For a time-saver trick, you can prep the ground beef and be ready to throw these pockets together on Sunday when you are meal prepping for the rest of the week ahead. When making these, I used shredded cheese so it would melt well and I purchased the preservative-free crust. Once they are baked, allow each pocket to cool and freeze individually for ease or place them into an airtight container for the refrigerator if your crew will eat them within four days of preparation.
As you are maneuvering though back to school with your kiddo, I will be doing the same thing. I promise to try and make great decisions for my kid’s nutrition on a consistent basis, but I will mess up. I will give my kids candy and give them a screen as a baby sitter. That’s a promise. Let’s try really hard to be great moms 80%-90% of the time and then give ourselves a break when we aren’t’. Oh and give a mama some slack if she shows up for the school event with grocery store made cupcakes with bright red frosting. Lord knows we don’t all have time to do it all.