BackToSchool

Back to school with 15 packable, healthy snacks

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Healthy snacks can keep your creativity and productivity going throughout the day. For those of you with kids to feed (and those of you with an inner kid to feed), this post is choc-full of yummy, packable snack ideas for back-to-school season. Check out these 15 ideas, organized by craving.

Crispy

1. Rice cakes are perfect with spreadables like rich nut butter, tangy raspberry jam, or mashed avocado.

2. Apple chips are a great snack for a cool fall day. Simply use a mandolin to slice apples, and spread them on a baking sheet. Bake at 225 for 60 minutes, or until crisp. Use fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or cloves.

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3. Kale chips. Wash, remove stems, and tear fresh kale into chip-sized pieces. Spread kale on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment. Mist kale with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until crisp.

Crunchy

4. Ants on a log. Remember this classic? Simply cut celery into 3-inch sticks, spread your favorite nut butter in the crevice of the celery, and top with raisins.

5. Trail mix can be a great way to add variety (and let your kids use their imagination!). Mix up whole grain cereal, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, freeze-dried veggies, or pea crisps.

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6. Sushi-inspired crunchy rolls. The concept of this snack came from an episode of The Pioneer Woman. Spread a whole grain tortilla with guacamole or mashed avocado. Fill with crunchy veggies that have been cut into matchsticks. Roll up the mixture, and cut the roll in half (or into quarters, your choice) to serve. Note: If you don’t want to cut veggies yourself, you can find shredded veggies in the produce aisle (even slaw mix will work!).

Sweet

7. Apples and cinnamon. Spice up your snacking flavor profile with cinnamon! Raw apple slices with just a dash on cinnamon add flavor to an already sweet treat.

8. Fruit-and-nut rolls. I love these dried fruit and nut bites from WholeLiving.com. They taste decadent, and the texture is wonderful. Just make sure not to have too many—there are a lot of calories both in nuts and dried fruit.

9. Citrus smiles. Have fun with oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, or other citrus, cut into half-circles.

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Savory

10. Veggie Pinwheels can be created using a bean spread (like hummus) and any veggie. Simply spread the hummus on a whole grain tortilla, and top with a favorite veggie. Roll the tortilla, and cut the roll into one-inch circles. Looking for good combinations? I love grilled eggplant and hummus together. Or, a simple shredded carrot and hummus pinwheel is colorful and full of flavor.

11. Cucumbers and yogurt dip. This light snack is quick to whip up. Check out a recipe for yogurt herb dip here, and enjoy dunking sliced cucumbers in it!

12. Homemade popcorn. Use an air popper, or oil pop with canola oil. Lightly sprinkle with parmesan cheese, Italian spices, or just enjoy it plain!

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Chewy

13. Dried fruit. There are so many varieties of dried fruit, and some fruits are sweeter than others. Try to look for fruit that has no added sugar. Because dried fruit has a higher concentration of calories than fresh fruit, watch your portion size! One cup of fresh fruit is equivalent to 1/2 cup of dried fruit, according to USDA’s MyPlate.

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14. Homemade granola bars are delicious. And many websites have great ideas for how to make them with no added sugar.

15. Fruit leather. This is a great alternative to sticky, sugary fruit snacks. Here’s one way to make it with your favorite fruits!

What is your favorite healthy snack to pack?

Tell us by commenting below!

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