Lockdown Day 86 – Lunch Box Snacks
The Snack Box
Children have different needs when it comes to their snack boxes. More and more schools are moving away from providing food because of intolerances, allergies, religious requirements and more. With the reopening of schools after lockdown, there is a likelihood that stricter protocols for snack time will need to be observed.
Helping your children to manage their snack boxes is good for their growing independence, decision-making skills, planning, organisational skills and so on!
Prepare the containers that your children will use to put their snack into. Consider the lunch box and the smaller containers for food that may need to be individually packed. All of these will need to be housed in the lunch bag. Does the water/juice bottle fit in the lunch bag, or is it carried separately? Does the school bag have a pouch for the bottle so that it does not accidentally spill into the contents of the bag? If not, it may need to be carried separately.
Discuss the snack preferences that your child has and guide her/him in terms of practicality. Sushi, for example, may not be a sensible choice, especially during summer where a lunch bag may inadvertently stand in the sun! Perhaps provide choices that include a protein, carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables. This may also be a good time to discuss the fact that not everyone likes or can/may eat what your child likes, and that we need to be mindful of other’s preferences as well. Most schools have a no-sharing policy, so please reinforce this at home with an appropriate explanation.
While dinner preparation is happening, your child could be slicing cucumbers, carrots or beans for the next day’s snack. They may be washing the baby tomatoes or strawberries. Involve the child in buttering Provitas and slicing cheese. If one of the items needs a spoon, perhaps have a designated ‘special school spoon’ that goes in the lunch bag.
Apart from the few ideas mentioned above, here are some other healthy, suitable snacks for your children.
- Peanut butter and carrots/celery (each in its own container)
- Walnuts/ pecan nuts/ cashew nuts etc.
- Cottage cheese and crispbread
- Peeled orange or naartjie segments
- Sliced banana
- Snow peas
- Protein balls (see recipe below)
- Leftover mac and cheese from dinner (packed with ‘special school spoon/fork’)
*Please also check your school’s policy on nuts, they may not be permitted.
CRANBERRY-ALMOND ENERGY BITES
- 1 cup Jungle oats
- 1/3 cup almond flakes/ or loosely crushed whole almonds
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (linseed)
- ½ cup nut butter (peanut, almond etc.)
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (these may be substituted for your dried fruit of choice)
- Switch the oven to 180 degrees centigrade and when it has reached temperature, lightly toast the oats, almonds and coconut for about 8 minutes. Stir halfway through.
- Microwave the nut butter until runny (about 20-30 seconds) and add to the toasted ingredients.
- Add the ground flaxseed, honey, chia seeds and cranberries and stir.
- Using a tablespoon scoop a spoonful into your hand and roll into balls.
- Refrigerate overnight.
*Your protein bites will last a week in the fridge and three months in the freezer.
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