CASSVILLE, Mo. –– Signs are popping up and parents are getting giddy at the sight of back-to-school supplies in stores. Soon, school buses will be picking up the young learners once again.
“With the joys of school comes the added pressure of what snacks to bring to school parties and events. We have all seen the panic in parent’s eyes as they walk franticly up and down the isles trying to decide what to bring,” said Eden Stewart, nutrition and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
Stewart says the simple act of bringing a snack can be overwhelming because there is pressure to bring something healthy and tasty that all the picky eaters will enjoy.
“Here are some ideas to help the panicked parent make the trip to the store easier. Please check with your school for more requirements and classroom food allergies,” said Stewart.
- Packaged Baby Carrots
- Packaged celery sticks
- Cherry tomatoes
- Mini bell peppers (also called lunch box peppers)
- Packaged chopped up broccoli
- Packaged chopped up cauliflower
- Packaged chopped up mixed vegetables
- Dehydrated snack vegetables (such as green beans, okra, kale chips, beet chips, etc.)
- Fresh Packaged mild salsa
- Mandarins (also called cuties or halos)
- Berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries)
- Packaged cut fruit (pineapples and melons)
- Dried apples
- Dried pineapples
- Dried cranberries
- Dried Bananas
- Dried Mangoes
- Turkey Jerky
- Turkey Pepperoni
- Lean Packaged lunch meat
- Shelled sunflower seeds
- Packaged Hummus
- Packaged Bean dips
- Squeezable yogurt
- Low fat yogurt dip (sometimes called Tzatziki Sauce)
- Packaged cubed cheese
- Packaged string cheese
- Whole grain crackers
- Whole grain tortilla chips
- Small snack rice chips (kids love the Ranch flavor)
- Whole grain pita chips
- Prepackaged popped popcorn
For more information on nutrition contact any of these nutrition specialists in southwest Missouri: Kelsa Ferguson in Greene County at (417) 881-8909; Lindsey Gordon Stevenson in Barton County at (417) 682-3579; Stephanie Johnson in Howell County at (417) 256-2391 or Eden Stewart in Barry County at (417) 847-3161.
The regional office of the Family Nutrition Education Program is located in Springfield and can be reached at (417) 886-2059.
Nutrition information is also available online http://extension.missouri.edu.