Healthy nut-free snacks for back to school

It’s back to school time and lots of parents are asking the question, “What nut-free snacks can I pack for my child?”.  Having a nut-free policy is essential to ensuring the safety of those children with nut allergies.  However, removing nuts can make it challenging to provide snacks that are high in protein.  Protein is essential for maintaining your child’s energy level and cognitive function.

Here are 5 nut-free high protein snacks:

1. Nut-free trail mix: Make a baggie of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pretzels, toasted soy beans and dried fruit.  Easy to prep and portion in advance.

2. Hard-boiled egg: To make this boring snack a little more interesting, provide turmeric, curry spices, cayenne, paprika, chopped dill or sage to sprinkle on the egg or to dip the egg into for extra flavour.

3. Edemame: These are whole soy beans in their pods.  Easy to find in the frozen vegetable section, they can be pre-boiled and portioned for the week.  Sprinkle a little salt on them them the morning of to enhance their flavour.  Edemame make a fun snack as kids love to pop the beans out of their pods.

4. Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is high in protein and easy to find in pre-packaged containers for convenience.  For a healthier option, purchase pure, unsweetened, unflavoured Greek yogurt in a larger bulk container.  Divide into individual portion and add honey, cinnamon, berries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds or hemp hearts for added flavour and protein.

5. Mixed bean salad: Mixed beans are readily available canned.  Be sure to rinse the beans thoroughly before use.  You can also purchase the beans you like in dried form and make your own personalized mix.  Dried bean require soaking and boiling before use so will add to your prep time. Mix all beans and flavour with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, chili flakes, balsamic vinegar, basil, dill, thyme, cumin, etc.  Bean salad is easy to make and you can basically flavour it however you like.  An even simpler option is to mix a vinaigrette salad dressing into the beans for flavour, therefore no chopping/crushing of herbs required!

Involve your children in the snack decision making and preparation to figure out what flavours and textures they like!

Image purchased from: www.dreamstime.com

Image purchased from: http://www.dreamstime.com