It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas. Back-to-school season! (Insert applause and cheers from parents nationwide here).
As many of us gear up for the back-to-school season or a long-awaited return to the office, the carefree days of summer spent in Mother Nature will soon pass. The good news is you can still keep afternoons stress-free for you and your family by keeping your kitchen fully stocked with back-to-school snacks for both children and adults.
As children return to school and parents choose healthy food options and snacks for their kids, they are also more likely to choose better options for themselves. That includes making their own lunches rather than relying on the cafes and restaurants in the office vicinity.
Whether you are a parent, student, or a working professional (maybe even all three) these back-to-school snacks are easy to make and even more delicious to enjoy.
#1 Popcorn + your favorite topping
A classic go-to snack, popcorn is the perfect back-to-school, or back-to-work, snack. You can pop your own at home or purchase an organic brand and add some of our CEO's favorites, nutritional yeast and vegan parmesan cheese with some tasty vegan butter. Place a cup or two in a brown paper bag and shake. For an added crunch, include a handful of Decadent Dark Chewy Chocolate crumbles for a sweet afternoon treat.
If your child is not a fan of popcorn, swap it out for some cut-up fresh fruit slices like apples, bananas, or strawberries, and top them with a dash of cinnamon for a savory and sweet after-school snack. You can even combine your family’s favorite fruits and vegetables to create a family of Nut Butter Snails & Caterpillars. (How cute are these).
Back-to-Office Tip: As you make ants on a log for the kiddos, grab a slice of grain-free toast and top it with your favorite nut or seed spread then give it an adult upgrade with fresh berries from the local farmers market. Slice up blackberries or strawberries and make a more grown-up version of the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You can even top it with a sprinkle of chia seeds or flax seeds for an added crunch.
#2 Energy Balls and Bites
After a long day at school, or work at the office, your kids and you may need some extra energy before hitting the books for homework and studying, so whip up a batch of energy balls and bites. It is easy!
Combine oats, a natural sweetener of your choice, and nut or seed butter. Then, get creative with other mindful mix-in ingredients like cacao powder, coconut flakes, and dried fruit. If you are pressed for time, forget the homemade bite-sized snacks and leave it up to us. All you have to do is choose a flavor, but why choose one when you can have all three. Back-to-school snacking has never been so simple! (You’re welcome).
Back-to-Office Tip: This year, don’t be left hangry. Fill your favorite snacking spots, like the car counsel, the kitchen pantry, and your office desk drawer, so you and your family are never left snack-less. Take advantage of our 3-pack bundle of deliciousness, six-packs, and 8-pack specials, and feel confident knowing you are setting yourself, and your family, up for a successful back-to-school season.
#3 Handcrafted Sandwich Cut-Outs
Sandwiches are not just for packed school lunches. Grab some slices of bread and top with nut or seed butter then cut out fun shapes using a cookie cutter. Get creative and see if you can find cookie cutters that are in the same shape as the school’s mascot. Go team go! Need some ideas? Show your kids how much you care with this recipe for heart-shaped PB & J Sandwich Bars.
Back-to-Office Tip: If handcrafted sandwiches are not your thing, try getting creative with a homemade bento box. Grab a carbohydrate, a quality protein source and an assortment of cooked or pickled vegetables then top with a drizzle of your favorite sauce and you have a well-rounded back-to-office meal or snack.
#4 Homemade Hummus Platter
Teach your children how to eat the rainbow by arranging colorful vegetables together in a homemade hummus platter. Include broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and any other veggies you have on hand from your backyard garden or local community farmer’s market. Then, include a big bowl of homemade hummus or salsa for dipping.
Back-to-Office Tip: Save some of that after-school hummus and use it to create a simple Sprouted Chickpea Salad Sandwich. Plant-based and full of fresh veggies and protein, this sandwich is perfect for an at-office meal or after-work snack.
#5 Smoothie and Smoothie Bowls
Although school is back in session, you can still channel the flavors of the summertime season and make a homemade smoothie or smoothie bowl. Grab your children’s favorite plant-based milk then blend with fresh fruit like bananas, strawberries, and a dollop of nut or seed butter. Explore different flavor combinations and toppings using layers of cooked oats, dairy-free yogurt, dried or fresh fruit, shredded or toasted coconut, and seeds. We also like to include a few chewy, plant-based, sweet, and savory granola bites for a fun addition.
Back-to-Office Tip: Smoothies are not just for students. Make a second one for yourself and add a scoop or two of quality protein powder to create a satiating snack that can keep you satisfied all morning so you can make it through that big office presentation with the new client.
Snacktime does not have to be stressful. Make the back-to-school season delicious, easy, and fun with these back-to-school snacks perfect for everyone in the family.
Back-to-Office Tip: While you are back-to-school shopping for the kids, do not forget to pick up a brand new lunch box for yourself as well. Just ask our founder, Margaret Barrow.
“One of the problems I used to have is deciding what to put my office lunch in. I used to use one of my children's old lunch boxes, but it just wasn't the right fit. I like Superwoman, but carrying her image around on a lunch box was a bit embarrassing.”
If you are like Margaret, try one of these more fitting lunch boxes designed specifically for adults: PlantBox has some fun designs for adults, and the Monbento MB Square Bento Box, which also offers chic designs. Happy back-to-school and back-to-the-office season everyone!
- Stay Healthy and Happy
Need more back-to-school snack ideas? Check out @MBVeganShare or join our CEO live @itsnolasnack every other Sunday when she shares some delicious and nutritious vegan recipes. Don’t worry, even if you aren’t vegan, you will still enjoy these dishes.
Tag us @itsnolasnack so we can see your back-to-school snacks!