When heading back to school, snacks are an important way to power up your little ones.
“The kids are growing, so it’s important to make sure we have some nutritious foods in our lunch boxes and our afternoon snacks,” said Courtney Huggins, a registered dietitian at the ShopRites in Milford and Orange.
Huggin’s first tip for back-to-school snacks is to stock up on healthy options, like fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
“These are wonderful if you have any allergies to any nuts, tree nuts, or if you’re going to school and you aren’t allowed to bring those things,” Huggins said of SuperSeedz, made right here in Connecticut.
Her next tip is to look for snacks with whole grains.
“You get extra fiber, extra protein, extra vitamins and minerals,” she explained.
Popcorn and tortilla chips are good sources. Also, look for the whole grain versions of your favorites, like Ritz Crackers and Gold Fish, as well as for The Whole Grains Council’s whole grain label.
When it comes to back-to-school snacks, use portion control.
“If you are giving them chips or something like that, that maybe it isn’t so good for them, just look at the portion size and make sure you’re not handing them the full bag of chips,” Huggins said.
Add some protein to help your kids feel fuller longer.
“These are roasted chickpeas,” Huggins explained. “They are a good source of protein, have some good fiber in there.”
And last but not least, have snacks ready to grab and go, like pre-portioned hummus containers, or bagged goodies.
“There are these great little portion bags that have half a cup, a quarter cup, three-quarters of a cup, and a whole cup, so it’s easy to portion out you don’t have to think about it,” Huggins demonstrated.
If you’re shopping for back to school snacks at shop rite, be sure to grab one of the complimentary healthy snacks for your little ones
“It’s a great program that we do,” Huggins said.
ShopRite also offers cooking classes for kids. The next one is being held on Saturday, September 22 at noon and 2:30pm. The cost per child is just $10.