Healthy Snacks for a School Party
With so many celebrations at school -- birthday parties, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's day and the end-of-the year parties -- our kids can wind up eating a ton of junk food.
But school celebrations don't have to be unhealthy to be fun. There are many healthy snacks that children love. And healthy snacks are not only delicious but also improve physical well-being as well as help to improve learning. Making a habit of eating healthy snacks ultimately promotes healthy lifestyle choices. And keeping children healthy and having healthy schools are goals shared by both teachers and parents.
So, what to make that's delicious, healthy and fun?
Fresh fruit kebobs:This is always a hit with kids and a terrific source of healthy vitamin C! The fruit stays on securely when threaded on bamboo skewers. These fruit kebobs are also an easy treat for teachers to hand out when already prepared in single, equal servings. Our favorite way to transport these 8" kebobs is with either the 11 cup or the 3 quart truseal glass containers. They're leakproof and made from tempered glass so they're tough! Plus, they're good to go in the oven, freezer, microwave and dishwasher.
Cheese quesadilla triangles:When you're in charge of bringing some protein to the party, most kids will delight in this food option. It's also a an easy snack to prepare and to hand out. Using a cast iron skillet (with a little oil) will give the whole wheat tortilla a delicious crispy outside while the inside (filled with shredded cheese and if adventurous, some bell peppers) a tasty and filling melted snack. Serve cut into triangle wedges for easy handling.
Pumpkin muffins:This is the perfect muffin to make for a fall classroom party. Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A which promotes healthy vision and proper immune function. This recipe was modified for a healthier version using honey instead of sugar and whole wheat flour, coconut oil and molasses. We recommend using a high quality 18/8 stainless steel muffin pan or a cast iron pan instead of a non-stick one to avoid toxic PFOA.
Fruit smoothie station: Prepare ahead of time with cut fresh fruit and bring bags of frozen berries packed in an insulated packit bag to make this fun treat an easy one to pull off. Add sliced banana, orange juice/apple juice and let kids pick their favorite fruits: mangoes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or pineapple for custom blends.
Vegetable trays with dips: If you're in charge of providing the immunity-boosting, vitamin-packed vegetables for the party, consider shedding some new light onto traditional crudite platters. Instead of baby carrots, peel and cut large carrots lengthwise into long, thin surfboard-style vegetable dippers. Fill some celery boats with cream cheese or almond butter or sunflower butter in a nut-free classroom. Pair brightly colored spears of red, orange and bell peppers with containers of hummus or homemade dressing. Edamame is another healthy and well-received snack and easy to prepare: lightly salt the cooked edamame still in shells and provide another bowl for the empty ones
Trail mix cups:Create a station with bowls filled with different healthy snack foods (raisins, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame sticks, etc.). These are often available in bulk food bins at health food stores. Using baking cups to hold the trail mix--either pre-fill the cups so they can be handed out by the teacher or let kids choose their own ingredients for a custom blended trail mix.
Banana pops:For some extra potassium (a key role in maintaining brain function) and a special crunch from a coating of granola, give these banana pops a try. Cut a banana in half and skewer on an 8" bamboo skewer. Coat the banana in a thin layer of sunflower butter and then roll through finely-crushed granola. The bamboo gives the banana a firm stake so this treat won't slip or slide like it would on a metal skewer.
Any other healthy snack ideas to share?