It’s that time again, another September is upon us.. you only have to look at this week’s flyers to know it’s back to school time! Not only are there advertisements for school supplies and fall clothes but there is a sale on every type of granola bar, snack pack and convenience item going. These items are packed full or sugars, chemicals and fat which your kids really don’t need!
So what do you stock your pantry with for back to school?
Here’s my tips of how to get your kitchen ready for the first week of school to give you kids the best start possible.
Cut up veggies on Sunday night or buy veggies already cut up if that’s more your style. I use these for easy to pack snacks for lunches, a quick snack with hummus after school or an easy stirfry for dinner. It always helps this mama who likes to “pick” while I make meals.
Fresh Fruit is all the sweet they really need, having it cut up and/or washed and ready to go is key!
Ditch the juice and switch to water and smoothies – if your water container can keep your water cold – it works perfect for an “ice cube tray smoothie” which can be packed with healthy veggies and fruit.
Make a nut-free snack mix – I get my kids involved in making a nut-free snack mix with seeds (pumpkin and sunflower) and dried fruit (apricots, dates, raisins, apple). We pack ours in mini ziploc bags for a quick on the go snack.
Bake your own snacks – I make all the “dessert” items my kids eat that includes school lunches. I take three precautions when baking and packing lunches to make sure that what I am sending is in fact nut free. Every baking item I owe must be dishwasher safe. I only bake nut-free things together on certain days and I freeze everything that is nut-free in the kitchen top of the fridge freezer. (anything that has nuts or is made with nut flours is in the basement freezer) This way there is no chance in my morning “fog” that I accidentally pack the wrong thing. Lastly, I educate my child just the way a parent with a child with an allergy would regarding not sharing. It’s not just peanut allergies anymore my daughter’s class this year had a sesame and egg allergy too. I love Elana’s pantry for back to school because if has an entire section dedicated to nut-free items.
Lastly stock up on coconut floor and coconut milk, I substitute these items in my dinner meals instead of almond milk, making leftovers a nut-free thermos possibly for my kids lunches.
Have fun with back to school!
Jenn Cooper-Cabral, Food Coach, Natural Care Clinic