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Back to School With Smart Snacking

As a new school year begins, remember that a child’s brain needs fuel to learn. Snacks are a great way to give our body and mind the energy they need between meals.

Consuming two to three snacks throughout the day is part of a healthful lifestyle. Not only do snacks provide energy, they also give us other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, to keep us healthy and fiber to keep us full.

Choose a variety of colors to consume all the different vitamins and minerals we need. When snacks are healthful and nutrient dense, they will reach their full potential and have optimal benefits.

When choosing snacks, be sure to select a combination of foods from two to three food groups based on MyPlate to satisfy the taste buds and keep you full. Because a snack is considered a “mini meal,” it should contain approximately 200 calories.

In the U.S., snacks make up approximately 25% of daily energy intakes. Many healthful snacks can be prepared in advance to make them quick and easy. Cut up fruits and vegetables and store them in individual zip-top bags or storage containers for up to four days to make them a convenient option. They can be added easily to a lunch box, too.

When kids come home from school, they may be hungry. By coming up with fun and exciting snack ideas, you will keep their tummies satisfied and minds occupied. Let them help prepare the snacks to get them more involved and interested in what is served.

Quick Grab n’ Go Snack Options

  • Fruits with a peel
  • Veggie sticks
  • Cheese sticks
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Granola bar
  • Popcorn
  • Dry cereal

Try these tips:

  • Prepare snacks in advance.
  • Choose a variety of colors and textures.
  • Make the healthful choice the easy choice.
  • Store healthful snacks so they are easily accessible.
  • Make snacks interesting.


Here are some links to kid-friendly recipes to enjoy:

Mini Cheese Quesadillas

English Muffin Pizzas

Apple Sandwiches

Mini Fruit Pizzas


By: Alyssa Athman, Dietetic Intern, NDSU Extension

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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