This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Cooking Light, Sunset, and Real Simple magazines, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BTSatSafeway http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.
Back to school time means quick and easy meal choices. Breakfast needs to be readily available for those frenzied mornings. Lunches need to be preplanned or even premade and ready to pack up. Dinners require menu planning and organized grocery shopping. I pretty much have those three meals under control during the school year. But I tend to fall short on after school and after sports snacks. But this year, I’m vowing to do better.
Just like preplanning meals, I just need to include preplanning healthy snacks. Here are some tips that I’m going to use.
1. Create a healthy snack environment. Stock the refrigerator and pantry with healthy options. Bag up fresh cut fruit, and choose individual containers of yogurt, fruit purees, and part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks. Fill snack bags with cut carrots and celery and buy some hummus, mild salsa, light ranch, or peanut butter for dipping. We eat with our eyes – fresh vibrant fruit and veggies will stand out! Stock the pantry with popcorn, whole-grain crackers and nuts instead of snack cakes, fried chips, and highly processed foods. For warmer days, keep popsicles made from fresh fruit in the freezer.
2. Create a snack mix buffet and let your kids make their own personalized varieties. Mix up the options – whole grain cereal, nuts, animal crackers, low-fat granola, popcorn, dried fruit, pretzels, even a little bit of chocolate. Let each member of your family mix up a large zip-top bag, then portion out ½ cup servings into smaller snack size bags. Tote to school, sporting events, even work for the adults!
3. Match your family’s snacks with each activity level. On hot, sunny days – opt for refreshing snacks that are higher in water content, such as fruit (try frozen grapes!) and yogurt. When you are out and about in the cold – hiking or biking, or running around – tote along snacks that are more carbohydrate and fiber focused, such as whole grain crackers with peanut butter.
Inspired by these tips and my new snack plan, I picked up copies of Sunset, Real Simple and Cooking Light magazines for more ideas. I used a $1 Coupon available on Safeway’s just for U portal. I’m all about saving a little extra money! The magazines were brimming with great ideas – 5 minutes sides, summer garden recipes, 5 ingredient meals and so on. Here’s one idea that I came up with for an after school or sports practice snack.
Next time you’re making chicken, make extra for a variety of snacks. Keep the chicken in a storage container in your refrigerator. Chop up some of the chicken for chicken pita sandwich snacks. I have a teen, so a half of a pita sandwich is literally a snack. For younger kids, serve up mini pitas or cut your pita into quarters.
You can also use up other ingredients from last night’s dinner and save them for the chicken pita. I had cucumber and tomato but other veggies would work just as well. Eat it plain or make a delicious yogurt sauce. I made some Tzatziki Sauce and it’s so tasty.
This yogurt sauce can also be used as a dip for fresh veggies or served with other dishes. Here’s tip: add the cucumber right before serving because it tends to make the sauce soggy.
For more ideas and inspiration for healthy snacking pick up copies of Real Simple, Cooking Light and Sunset Magazines. You can use the $1 coupon (expires August 30th) from the just for U portal. Or visit the Safeway site.
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