Ideas from Dole's Chef Mark Allison
Back to school means school buses, homework and hungry kids! My kids are growing so fast and involved in so many sports and activities that they are always hungry and seem to be eating and snacking all day long! I always try to have several easy to put together healthy food items in the fridge or pantry that they can easily have as a snack at school or on the go. It’s important to be prepared and plan ahead so when hunger strikes, no one is rummaging through the kitchen or heading to the vending machine and making poor snack decisions.
Here are some of my essentials:
- A variety of fresh fruit including bananas, apples, grapes, peaches and watermelon, an endless list for each season as they are the most perfect “grab and go” product.
- Portioned out bags of vegetables so the kids can reach in the fridge anytime and choose from sliced mixed peppers, cucumber, baby carrots, celery and cherry tomatoes. Also, portioned freshly made hummus or tzatziki to dip their vegetables into and some whole-wheat pita bread available to knock up a quick sandwich.
- Plain non-fat Greek yogurt that fruit and nuts or whole grain cereal can be added to.
- Whole wheat crackers spread with nut butter, but look for real nut butter (with a short list of ingredients like nuts and salt), not peanut spread!
- Organic popcorn that can be placed in a paper bag and cooked in the microwave for 3 to 3.30 minutes, sprinkled with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and a splash of extra virgin olive oil or even a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, chopped up seaweed or a dusting of chili powder for the perfect treat.
- Vegetable and fruit smoothies are great and easy to prepare in advance then left to chill in the fridge until needed. Try freezing smoothies on a stick, making a frozen treat that the kids love.
- Mixed dried fruit, nuts and seeds, portioned into ¼ cup serving sizes
- Cheese cubes
- Oven toasted Garbanzo beans seasoned with fresh herbs and spices
All of these delicious combinations are endless and contain so much nutrition - they are great for the whole family. So grab your backpack, school supplies and a snack and you’re ready to start this year with an A+!
Published September 1, 2017