Healthy snacks for back to school lunches

A lot of studies show that’s a great way to have a treat and not go overboard with it

(WTNH) — News 8 is helping you get the kids ready for back to school and back to school means back to packing lunches. It can be such a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve got some tips for easy, healthy snacks the kids will love!

From breakfast to snacks, there are all kinds of healthy and tasty choices for kids heading back to school.

“So if it has to be just one thing, I would say have something that’s a source of energy from carbohydrates, so for instance grabbing a banana for the road or grabbing an apple,” said Ellen Liskov, Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Registered Dietitian Ellen Liskov at Yale-New Haven Hospital says ideally, plan ahead of time. Your student gets a more balanced jump-start to the day.

“It’s important for learning, concentration and it’s even been linked to better grades and overall nutritional status,” said Liskov.

She recommends serving up as many of the food groups, carbs, whole foods and grains, veggies, lean protein and dairy and pairing up at least two of them.

“Cheerios is a lower sugar cereal also made with whole grains because it’s made with oats. So we’re hitting the complex carbohydrates, lots of B vitamins and a great source of energy,” said Liskov.

The one percent low fat milk offers calcium, vitamin D and protein.

“We have oats, which is a grain product. We have fruit. Half of our meals with fruits and vegetables is a great idea. We have dairy, and the dairy is low in fat content and then to add a little protein, we have some nuts in here,” said Liskov.

What are some healthy snack alternatives, especially for your student athlete?

“Having a whole grain bagel is a great source, having maybe something like cream cheese on top of it, a little bit of fat for staying power and pairing it up with fruit,” said Liskov.

Try not to shun foods, moderation is key. Single serve oven baked chips can curb cravings.

“A lot of studies show that’s a great way to have a treat and not go overboard with it,” said Liskov.

Yogurt can satisfy that sweet tooth.

“Greek yogurts tend to have less sugar as compared to non-greek yogurts. If you’re getting a plain yogurt, put your own fruit in there and use one little teaspoon of sugar. That would actually have less sugar content than pre-flavored yogurts,” said Liskov.

Most importantly, get your child involved.

“Again trying to encourage them to hit at least two food groups. Kids might make unusual pairings that aren’t appealing to you or I, but again, it has to be their tastebuds,” said Liskov.

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