5 Snacks to Keep Kids Energized Through the School Day (That Mom Can Eat Too!)

 
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By Kelly Keltner, naturallynourishedkid.com

Busy schedules have been received. School supplies, new clothes and shoes bought. Bedtimes are being enforced again. Mornings are a rush to beat the clock.

It can be a hectic time as your household gets back into the school year routine. To help you avoid the drive-thru and takeout, here are some snack ideas that are free of refined sugars and will keep your kiddos full and energized through the day.

BONUS: They’re mommy friendly too!

TIME SAVING TIP: Make batches and freeze for convenience.

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

This powerhouse food, also known as garbanzo beans, packs 6g of protein in just half a cup. This is as much protein as a large whole egg! Pair with a side of fruit or veggie sticks for a snack that will keep kids full until mealtime.

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Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 10-15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried

  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

  • 1 tbs raw organic honey

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a small bowl, combine the chickpeas with the cinnamon and honey and mix well.

3. Lay the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake until crispy and browned, about 10-15 minutes.

Store in an airtight container up to 3-4 days.

Recipe from @KidFoodIdeas on Instagram

Flourless Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

If you have a bunch of overripe bananas, put them to good use and bake up a batch of these yummy banana muffins. You won’t miss the flour and superfoods like chia seeds and ground flaxseed pump up the nutritional factor.

Prep Time: 5 min    Cook Time: 20 min Makes 9 mini muffins

Ingredients:

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  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter)

  • 2 ripe medium to large bananas

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbs raw honey

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (sub gluten-free oats to make recipe gluten-free)

  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed

  • 2 tbs chia seeds

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until the batter is smooth and creamy.

3. Pour batter into greased muffin pan or use cupcake liners. Fill each cup about 3/4 full.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze.

Recipe by NaturallyNourishedKid.com, adapted from RunningWithSpoons.com

Mango Fruit Roll-Ups (aka Fruit Leather)

This one ingredient (yes, one ingredient!) treat will have your kids pumped to open up their snack totes! This takes some time to cook in the oven but it is worth it. Start it on a lazy weekend morning.

Prep Time: 5 min    Cook Time: 3-4 hours    Makes about 15-20 rollups

Ingredients:

3 large mangoes

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Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Puree the mango in a food processor after removing the skin and core.

3. Pour the puree onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a spatula to smooth and spread the puree as even as possible. The layer should be thin but not see through. You may have to use 2 baking sheets.

4. Start checking the puree at 3 hours. Oven temps vary from oven to oven, so it may or may not be ready at this point. When the puree is dry to the touch, it is done.

5. Remove from the oven and cut the sheets into strips. Roll up strips.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week..

Recipe from Clean & Green Kids App

Avocado Toast with Tomatoes

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This power snack gives you fiber, fats (the good kind), protein and vitamins all in one.  Choose Ezekiel bread to avoid added sugar and preservatives. It is usually found in the freezer aisle. Ezekiel bread also provides twice the amount of fiber and protein compared to conventional store bought bread.

Prep Time: 5 min    Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • Ezekiel Bread - 2 slices

  • ½ avocado

  • handful grape tomatoes

  • lemon wedge

Instructions:

1. Toast the bread

2. Top the toast with sliced avocado, grape tomatoes and fresh ground black pepper.

3. Squeeze lemon juice liberally over everything. This helps to prevent the avocado from browning if you plan to eat it later.

Recipe from @NaturallyNourishedKid on Instagram

Spinach & Mushroom Mini Crustless Quiche

Bake a batch on Sunday and keep it in the fridge. It heats up in 20 seconds in the microwave - perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast on busy weekday mornings.

Prep Time: 15-20 min    Cook Time: 20-25 min Makes 12 mini quiches

Ingredients:

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  • 1 tbs EVOO

  • 12 oz white mushrooms, chopped

  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced

  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped

  • pinch nutmeg

  • 4 large eggs

  • 4 large egg whites

  • ¼ cup whole milk

  • ¼ cup grated fontina cheese

  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

2. Heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms, shallot and season with S&P. Saute and cook until shallots are soft and mushrooms are slightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baby spinach and nutmeg until the spinach is just wilted. Set aside to cool.

4. Whisk the eggs, egg whites, and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese.

5. Divide the egg mixture evenly between the muffin tins, filling about halfway.

6. Top the egg mixture with the mushroom and spinach sauté.

7. Bake until the quiches are well-risen, golden brown and set. Check it at 20 minutes.

8. Remove from the oven and let the pan cool slightly. Remove the quiches and set on a wire rack to cool completely before refrigerating.

Recipe adapted from The Food Network.

 

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Becoming Protein Minded: A Non-Obsessive Option for Getting in Macros

 

By Valerie Solomon

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I’ve found a rhythm of eating that works for me on a daily basis as a busy mom wanting to get and stay fit. Although I do track macronutrients for a rigid competition prep and coach clients to do the same, on a normal daily basis, I eat in a way and teach a concept I call “Being Protein Minded”.  

It’s not realistic to think you can stay on a strict meal plan for life.  It’s no fun.  What is doable long term is to fit in the foods you like and work within certain parameters that have some flexibility.  Learn to track calories for a bit, and then learn how to get in enough protein.  Start making lasting changes slowly.  It is possible for a busy woman to learn to eat to progress without an endless diet you dread.

What is this “Becoming Protein Minded” stuff?

To become protein minded, I want you to think PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN at every meal and snack.  If you are like me and most women I coach, and gravitate towards cereal, bread, crackers, and yummy soups…. that’s fine, but get a side of PROTEIN with it.   Want a salad?  Have a side of protein.  Want that veggie pizza?  Think about where you will get in your protein as well.  It’s a small mental adjustment that can really help you build the muscle and strength you want.  Get protein on your brain!

Tip:  Cook extra meat when you cook dinner and keep it in your refrigerator for adding in those protein sides when needed.  My freezer is full of leftover options!

Below, I’ll introduce you to some of the dieting concepts from my Busy Mom Gets Fit Next Step Plan.

  • PART 1: CALORIES: choose your own food options and aim to fit them into the calorie parameters

  • PART 2: YOUR PROTEIN TARGET RANGE: learn to hit your protein target range daily

It’s helpful when learning to eat in a new way to have a guide.  There is a meal plan included for GORGO Premium Subscribers, but please know you CAN eat other things!  Continue reading to learn to fit the foods you love into parameters.

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PART 1: CALORIES
How many calories should I eat?!

You’ve probably heard the number “1200” tossed around a lot. Often 1200 calories is too few calories for most women.  Most women will actually see good weight loss on a 1700 calorie diet if they include exercise at the same time (that’s you!).

The number of calories a woman should eat largely varies based on body type, her level of activity, the state of her metabolism and her goals.  That’s a lot of “it depends”.  However, a good rule of thumb for a healthy-weighted woman looking to control her weight while staying healthy, is to begin at 10-17 times her bodyweight in calories (10-12 if you want to lose weight, 13-17 if you want to maintain, 18+ to gain).  As you progress and want to shed more fat, you can lower your calories slowly over time, but we do not recommend going below 10 times body weight for any extended period of time or staying at 10 x your bodyweight forever.

Graphic:  body weight x 10-17 = calories

Do you think this number is too high?!  It can be a scary thing to eat MORE to lose weight! If you are a serial dieter and have cut calories for long lengths of time, you know there comes a time where you throw up your hands because you can’t eat any less and your body is still not changing!  You’ve stalled your metabolism; your body goes into starvation mode.  With a better plan and learning to eat to fuel your body, you can get it running again and you may be surprised that you can eat a greater amount of food and get leaner.

If you want to learn more about this area, I recommend you check out the GORGO Magazine article called “I Want To Lose Fat AND Gain Muscle?!” in our OCTOBER 2015

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Track Your Calories

Now that you have a target number to shoot for, it’s a good idea to track your calories for a while until you get in a rhythm of eating at this level or until you reach your goals.  This may be as little as one week or as long as a couple months.  I recommend using an app such as MyFitnessPal to help you track.

Do I Have to Track Everything Forever?!

It’s not realistic to track calories every day for the rest of your life.  At minimum it’s an annoyance and it could promote obsessive food behaviors which I don’t support.  Yet it is often very important to track your food initially to reach goals and to learn how much you consume.  Consider it a “Food-u-cation”.

To put it into perspective, let’s say you track your food all week and hit your calorie targets each day.  Then the weekend rolls around and you just want to relax a bit so you say “Screw it, I deserve to take a break.”  In just the 1 day (even 1 meal), you can undo the work you did all week long tracking.  You may think what you chose to eat wasn’t “that bad”, but the portion size along with what else you ate that day can take you way off track.  Until you innately know what portion sizes and food choices are in accordance with your goals, I recommend you track your food, otherwise be satisfied and accepting if your desired changes don’t materialize.

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PART 2: Your Protein Target Range

A key element in building muscle tone, is to eat enough protein to support the muscle growth. I’ve not met a woman starting out on a fitness journey yet that eats enough protein.

By following the workouts in this magazine, you are officially an active women who regularly strength trains.  This means you should aim to eat 1-1.2g of protein per pound of body weight.  Don’t let this overwhelm you.  I’m introducing you to this important concept because you work too hard in your workouts not to get the best results.  This is often a missing key for too many women.

Let me hold your hand here to implement this part:

  1. Track your total calories following the guidelines above using MyFitnessPal

  2. Find in the MyFitnessPal app or on your MyFitnessPal diary webpage where “Nutrients” or “Macros” are shown.

  3. Write down the total number of grams of protein you ate for the day.

  4. Divide the total number of grams of protein by your bodyweight in pounds (e.g. you ate 126g of protein / 140 lbs = 0.90 = too low in protein! Target is 1-1.2)

  5. If the number is less than 1-1.2, work at increasing your protein each day.

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By knowing your parameters and what that looks like on a plate throughout the day, you can begin to ease up and buckle down when needed.  Keep protein on the brain.  

 

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