School days are soon beckoning. Ideas about what to pack for school snacks or what to prepare as after school snacks, especially if your little one is just starting Kindergarten, may seem a bit daunting. My principle for either is summarized with the KISS acronym – Keep It Simple Silly. In Part 1, I will cover Znüni. Literally translated, Znüni means “zu neun” or at 9. However, since the actual break in the school takes place closer to 10 a.m., it can be translated for a mid-morning snack, which the school recommends should be healthy.
One among the many responsibilities that we as parents have, is the need to lay down the foundations of healthy eating habits, as these can last lifelong. This couldn’t be more important than ever given the rise in childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes.
The school snacks I pack are almost always ‘no-cook’ items as they are fresh, hearty, quick and easy to put together in a snack box and cause no stress whether you’re in a rush to head to work or have other children to attend to as well. I like using a Bento Box as it allows me to pack in a lot of things given the separate compartments. It prevents the juice from fruit or veggies turning a sandwich soggy.
Some simple snack box ideas can be found in the pictures below. The typical things I include are raw fruits and/or dried fruit, raw or steamed vegetables, sandwiches or crackers.
Sandwiches lend themselves easily as school snacks because they work perfectly with such a wide variety of fillings which help prevent repetitiveness. The sandwiches can be toasted for a different taste and texture. One can choose to opt for whole grain, multigrain or white bread, as preferred. Personally, I use multi grain bread for sandwiches most times as it doesn’t feel very dense but is definitely a healthier alternative to white bread.
Some easy sandwich filling ideas are:
- Herb cream cheese topped with pickles such as sliced olives or sliced cucumbers,
- Guacamole topped with thinly sliced cucumbers,
- Butter and mint-coriander chutney,
- Butter and tomato ketchup or mint chutney topped with a seasoned potato peas mixture,
- B’levita crackers, mango, dried pineapple and coconut pieces
- Peanut/almond or your favourite nut butter topped with thinly peeled and sliced apples,
- Basil pesto with mozzarella and tomato slices with a sprinkle of salt and pepper,
- Sliced boiled egg with mayonnaise and mustard,
- Mini carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, peach, rice waffle peanut butter sandwich
- Curry hummus topped with grated carrots,
- Mayonnaise and mustard topped with grated beetroot,
- Butter and tomato ketchup topped with egg bhurji or scrambled egg,
- Cherry tomatoes, mini-mozarellas, blueberries and Knaeckebrot
- Vegan vegetable spread topped with thinly sliced pears,
- Roasted red pepper pesto topped with sliced avocado and microgreens,
- Butter topped with sliced veggies like tomato, cucumber, beetroot, boiled potato sprinkled with some salt, pepper, Chaat Masala.
- Purple plums, mini peppers stuffed with cream cheese, rye thins, dates, raisins and cranberries
Mascarpone cheese topped with sliced strawberries. Most of the above fillings work to make whole grain tortilla roll-ups too. Hence, these are a good alternative to a sandwich in a snack box. You can easily find store-bought tortillas to save some precious minutes when in a rush. The tortilla rolls can be made the previous night and stored in the fridge. In the morning, one needs to just cut these out into smaller pieces and pack them up.
If your child happens to prefers cooked Indian snacks in his / her Znüni box, then check the link below to on how to make some beautiful coloured mini idlis:
Alternatively, Indian snacks such as Dhokla, Sundal, baked cereal Chivda, to name a few, can be packed in a snack box with ease.
Crackers are a healthy alternative to sugar-loaded biscuits. Knäckebrot or crispy bread makes a yummy and healthy addition to a snack box and to learn to make it at home with ease, check the recipe link below:
Alternatively, there is a wide range of crackers available for sale in supermarkets.
These little dates and nut energy bites, happen to be one of the favourites. They’re packed with nutrition and goodness and are just delicious. The recipe can be found below:
To save time, such recipes can be made in advance on the weekend to last you through the following week.
Continued in Part 2…
Disclaimer: Opinions and methods expressed are solely of the writer. Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any obligation or liability which may arise from the content.