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Healthy snacks and lunches for kids

Lisa is a mother of two and is currently working as a consultant and instructor at several Los Angeles Unified School District schools teaching "Kidding Around in the Kitchen" hands-on cooking classes such as "Cooks and Books," and "Food...

Snack & lunch ideas

As part of a healthy diet, your child should eat 3 main meals and 2 to 3 snacks a day. Snacks are an important part of daily food intake, especially for children. They need to be nutritious, tasty, and quick and easy to prepare. Having small, regular meals and snacks by choosing from all food groups (while watching fat intake) is a better approach than skipping meals and "binging" when hungry. The following snack ideas are suggestions for what to pack for school, or to prepare at home, between main meals.

Minestrone Soup

Ideas for healthy snacks at home

Home snack ideas:

  • rice cakes lightly spread with ricotta or light cream cheese and fruit spread
  • toasted muffin with a scrape of honey or fruit spread
  • slice of toasted wholegrain bread topped with ricotta cheese and fruit spread
  • crisp breads with a low fat topping or plain biscuits
  • whole wheat breakfast cereal and reduced fat milk
  • toasted sandwich, use leans meats with a slice of low fat cheese and tomatoes
  • homemade muffins, or buy a low fat muffin mix (check your supermarket)
  • frozen banana (spear peeled banana with stick and freeze) or other frozen fruit such as grapes, peeled oranges, or tangerine segments
  • scoop of sorbet with fresh fruit banana smoothie (use skim milk or low fat soy drink, blend with 1/2 banana)
  • fruit yogurt smoothie (blend 1/2 cup plain yogurt, or 1/2 cup skim milk, or low fat milk, plus 1/2 cup fruit and ice)
  • ice blocks made with equal quantity fruit juice and low fat yogurt fruit kebabs (skewer cubes of fruits onto bamboo skewers)
  • 1 scoop of frozen yogurt or low fat fruit yogurt fruit platter with low fat yogurt dip
  • vegetable-rich soup with any fun pasta
  • raisin toast cheese scones or muffins (mix in grated cheese or sprinkle on top and grill)
  • English muffins with a scrape of butter, try topping with tomato and cheese frozen peas in a small plastic bag for easy popping

Quick TipFruit has more fiber and fewer calories than fruit juice. Make fruit a regular lunchbox item.

healthy Home lunches

Try these sandwich fillings:

  • lean roast beef, lamb, or pork with tomato, pickles, and lettuce
  • low fat cottage cheese, pineapple, and strawberries
  • half a baked potato, baked beans (drained), and grated low fat cheese
  • avocado instead of margarine or butter avocado, bean sprouts, and tomatoes
  • lean ham and fruit chutney or whole fruit apricot jam
  • roast beef or pastrami with coleslaw chopped egg, cucumber, and lettuce
  • chopped, skinless chicken, low fat mayonnaise, and lettuce tabouli salad, lettuce, and feta cheese
  • peanut butter lightly spread and topped with chopped dried fruits or bananas
  • hummus, falafels, sliced tomatoes, and sprouts
  • tuna or salmon with a little mayonnaise

More healthy school lunch ideas

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