My youngest son has finally started his schooling, and my daughter was asking me what snacks I have in mind that Mickey will carry to school. So I told her that I will be waking up earlier than usual every morning, to prepare a healthy snack for him just the way I used to do with her when she was his age. So later on in the day my daughter reminded me that whatever I had in mind to prepare for her brother was out of stock at home so we needed to go to the market, so off we went, my children and I walking to the market doing some kind of sport since we also live very close to the market.
I can say it was not easy that morning of the first day to school when I was preparing the mixed fruits for my son to carry, because he really cried and told me that he wants to carry biscuits and a soda to school. I had to compromise with my son and told him that instead of packing a soda for him, I was going to squeeze fresh juice made from tree tomato fruit which almost tasted like his favorite soda of Fiesta. Then instead of him carrying just biscuits, I will pack for him some biscuits the way he wants it but with at least a fruit to top it up. He was very happy with this arrangement and so was I, and I can tell he is a happy boy and is enjoying his school.
Snacks play a major and growing role in children’s diets and serving healthy snacks to children is important to providing good nutrition, supporting lifelong healthy eating habits, and helping to prevent costly and potentially-disabling diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Town life has made us become somehow lazy, because of the many obvious reasons. Parents are busy working to try and make ends meet and have no time to check or think twice about what a healthy snack is and what is not, and sometimes we can not blame them. During school days you will see many cars parked in front of supermarkets very early in the morning, parents dashing in to buy some packed snacks and drinks for their children.
This I tell you is not healthy at all. At least in many households, there is at a house help or two who can help us prepare something decent for the children every morning when they are going to school, instead of just feeding children food you don’t know for how long it has been hanging on the shelves.
Different children have different tastes, but at least even with whatever their preference is, parents can be creative and prepare a healthy snack out of it. Just so that I give you a glimpse of the different snacks that parents can prepare for their children.
For the snacks;
A vegetable sandwich can be a very healthy snack for a growing child to carry. Luckily my boy prefers salted bread to sugared bread, which will make it easy for me to prepare for him a cold sandwich made out of a whole wheat bread which is very nutritious. Also a bowl of mixed fruits topped with a spoonful of honey to add some taste can be good snack for a child to carry to school, while the fruits are nutritious, honey helps in cleansing the body system of bad toxins. Once in a while for a change biscuits can be packed, but they should not be an everyday snack, because you will realize that they will always be returned back home, not because the child was not hungry, but because he got tired of eating the biscuits every day- and it is also not healthy when a child is hungry in school. A pan cake or two for the child to pack every now and then is not bad compared to the everyday biscuits and chocolates.
Without even thinking twice, I always have to make sure that everywhere my children go, they have a bottle of water with them-because they drink a lot of water, so even school is not an exception. In fact it is not wise to pack only sweetened drinks for children without water because once they are used to getting sweetened beverages at snack times, it may take a little time for them to get used to drinking water. Some yoghurt or fresh squeezed juice out of any fruit or a mixture of two to three types of fruits can be ideal for any growing child because fresh fruit juice is rich in vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting compounds.
Have a variety of foods comprising a sandwich, some fruits, dairy foods, healthy snacks and water in the packing box to make snacks more appetizing for young school-going children. If the child is a fussy eater, getting him involved in the choice of what to take to school may help for as long as it is a healthy choice.