Hard to believe, but it’s officially September! And even harder to believe, this year I will be sending three kids off to school full time. If you’re a parent, your first thoughts were “Wow, that’s a lot of kids” “Wow, imagine the freedom” and “Wow, that’s a lot of lunches to pack“. Yes. Yes, it is.
I rarely buy packaged snacks for my kids. They are generally not good for their health, our grocery budget or the environment. Instead we buy things in bulk and package them up in reusable containers, and I bake healthy – or healthier – treats for them to take to school. That way I know exactly what they’re eating, while at the same time teaching them to be eco-conscious and saving a lot of money.
I know kids will get bored eating the same thing day after day, so I bake specifically for the freezer and try to keep at least two to four different items in there for them to choose from when making their lunch. This week I’ll be stocking up for the new school year, and here are a few of my go-to recipes for school snacks.Back-to-school baking list:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: Dubbed “Hogwarts Cookies” by my boys, these soft and cake-like cookies are delicious and freeze very well. The addition of pumpkin and white bean puree do double duty by making them super moist and sneaking in vitamins and fibre. The kids love them, and so do I.
Homemade Crunchy Granola Bars: These traditional granola bars can be customized with whatever flavours your kids like and are easy to make nut-free. Recipe makes one 8×8 pan, so for three kids I will be at least doubling it!
Whole Wheat Carrot Raisin Waffles: These waffles are very dense, and my kids enjoy them equally well as a snack. I cut them in eighths with kitchen shears and freeze four wedges in a package.
Carrot and Ginger Mini Muffins: Yummy carrot, cinnamon and ginger muffins are delicious and pack a nutritional punch with lots of vitamins and antioxidants. Since the zucchini is so good and inexpensive right now, I might try these with half carrot and half zucchini. Use the finest size on your grater so the vegetables are not too suspiciously chunky.
Homemade Cereal Bars: A new recipe for us this year that I’m looking forward to trying. I have a son who is always asking for those junky grocery store cereal bars – which I refuse to buy – and these look like a great alternative. The recipe calls for quite a lot of nuts, but in the comments there are some suggestions for substitutions. I’m going to get creative and hope for the best!
I am always looking for new baking recipes, so if you have a favourite to share please post a link it in the comments!
Maranda Carvell is a mom of four, nutrition advocate and stealthy chef. When she's not blogging and writing for Pathways To Life, you can find her tweeting about family, gaming, Ottawa and more as @HotelQueen.
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