Healthy snackYou can control what they eat at home, but when they walk out the front door and get on the bus to school, what your children eat is out of your hands—almost. While you can’t force the school to make healthy breakfast and lunch for your kids, you can send them to school with healthy foods. No time to make lunches? Prep healthy snacks instead so your little one can munch between meals without resorting to the vending machine. Try these healthy snack ideas for your kids this year.

Carrots or celery and _______

Carrots and celery are so versatile; you can make them into dozens of meals and snacks quickly and easily. Try:

Carrot or celery sticks with

  • Hummus—original, garlic, sesame, veggie, spinach and artichoke or chipotle
  • Vegan creamy dip (or homemade dip with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or heavy cream)

Shredded carrot with

  • Oil, seasonings and vinegar for a slaw-like snack or sandwich side

Peanut Butter and ______

With plenty of healthy fat and protein, this snack companion will keep your kids full until dinner time. Try peanut butter with:

  • Banana
  • Apples
  • Dates, pitted and sliced in half
  • Dried apricots
  • Rice cakes
  • Nila wafers

You can also use almond, macadamia or cashew butter instead of peanut.

Other Great Snacks

  • Banana bread
  • Zucchini bread
  • Homemade date bars with coconut shreds, coconut oil, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts
  • Crispy tofu chunks—Marinate the tofu with soy sauce, lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once halfway through. When cold, they taste just like chicken fingers and are very portable.
  • Cucumbers with salt
  • Homemade trail mix—Use a variety of their favorite nuts, craisins and dark chocolate chips.
  • Whole fruit—oranges, apples, bananas, sliced kiwi, grapes or strawberries
  • Homemade sweet potato crackers or chips (these are sliced more thin, like with a mandolin)—Slice a sweet potato into thin rounds, toss them with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes. You can use a variety of seasonings including salt and pepper; cinnamon and sugar; barbecue seasoning; onion powder.