By Barb Biagioli
It’s that time of year again: Back to School. This typically means back to messy mudrooms, crazy schedules, pick-ups, drop-offs, empty refrigerators and unorganized pantries, and most scary of all, “hangry” kids running amok in the afternoon hours, impatiently awaiting a snack.
If you’re back to school this season, having snacks ready to go is key to preventing meltdowns and madness. With a little bit of preparation, you can make a week’s worth of snacks ahead of time – ones to take to work, pack in kid’s lunches, keep in the fridge for after school snacks, or take on the road. I’m often asked what snacks are best for kids, what’s easy and best for on-the-go, or can be made ahead of time, so I’ll share a few of my tips with you.
1. Avoid snacks that come in a box, bag or wrapper, and use your local farmer’s market to inspire healthy snacks for yourself and your kids! Keep it simple, nutritious, and colorful and snacking will be tasty and fun.
2. Cut, chop, and prep easy staple snacks – like veggies for dipping – in containers in advance of the school week.
3. Dig out old baby food containers – you know, the ones you used for freezing pureed baby food. They’re ideal individual snack trays for your children. You can make sweet or savory trays using farmer’s market produce – try cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and carrots with hummus in the center for dipping. Or slice apple, pear, and place roasted sweet potatoes into the tray paired with nut butter.
4. Make healthy green muffins for the week, double the batch and place them in your freezer for later in the month.
5. Throw together a hummus quesadilla with whatever suitable produce you have left in the house. Otherwise known as the “everything but the kitchen sink” hummus quesadilla. I’ll show you how.
Seasonally, we are edging out of summer produce but still relishing in tomatoes, peppers, and dark leafy greens, as we’re also sharing in the wonders of the autumn harvest! The best of both worlds colliding to yield a farmer’s market bounty that is overflowing from bins and baskets – the perfect inspiration for our “anything goes” quesadillas. There are a few fun ways to put together a hummus quesadilla, but certainly no wrong way as long as you have some veggies on hand, hummus and tortilla wraps.