Natural School Snacks

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This year I set myself some both practical and inspirational New Years resolutions. In hopes of actually sticking to them I’ve tried to incorporate each one into a day of the week. Take for instance Sunday, that’s my ‘get ready for the lunch week’ day. Mornings around here are pretty hectic and well, so are evenings, so my idea is that every Sunday I’ll get together as much of my six year old’s school lunches as I can. I had ordered these fantastic small tupperware containers from For Small Hands (if you order from them make sure to list your local Montessori school when you check out so they can get credit) last year. They are perfect for little school snacks because they are designed to be easy to open and close by little hands. Enclosed are our own homegrown purple haze carrots and celery plus a green, pimento stuffed olive for a treat. (No really, our little guys love them!)

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I’ve also started to make a snack each Sunday. The first Sunday I made maple glazed almonds, which we all pop down like candy. I discovered these on the 3191 Miles Apart blog over a year ago and they are so simple to make. I cover the bottom of our cast iron skillet with raw almonds and drizzle about 1/4 c maple syrup on top. Over medium-high heat I let the syrup carmelize over the nuts which takes maybe 10 minutes. Towards the end I’ll sprinkle on some cinnamon and some Maldon Sea Salt. Great school snack! And adult anytime snack for that matter!
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The past two Sundays I’ve been making homemade crackers. I know it almost seems silly to ‘make’ crackers. But trust me, when it is Sunday night and you realize you need a weeks worth of school snacks, the thought of taking all three kids to the grocery store is positively horrific, so making crackers, rolling them out and cleaning up the flour becomes a breeze, relatively speaking. I haven’t perfected my cracker making efforts yet, however as soon as I get the perfect recipe, I’ll share.

At the beginning of the school year I was including our homemade fruit roll ups. We ran out quickly, however this coming summer, I might take follow up on a tip I heard from a friend. Her mother-in-law makes a bunch of sweetened fruit concentrate and freezes it during the summer and then pulls out a batch during the winter to make fruit roll ups. Genius!

Do you have any good snacks that you make yourself?

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Natural School Snacks

  1. I’ve totally done stuff like that…making a batch of hamburger buns because it’s just way too hard to haul 4 kids to the grocery store! lol

    Those nuts look delicious!

  2. sarah k.

    Mark Bittman has a great, no fail cracker recipe that can be added to (I swear, adding cheddar cheese makes them taste exactly like Goldfish) in How to Cook Everything. Probably available on the web.

    I wish my boys loved olives, my daughter sure does, and I will NOT make different lunches for each kid! Unfortunately, I can’t send nuts, either, since they go to a nut-free school. I would so love it if you would post more of your snack and lunch ideas!

    • asonomagarden

      Sarah, that’s the recipe I used this past Sunday. I really liked it, but wanted to make it more interesting. I’m totally going to try adding cheddar cheese next time! Thanks for the tip!

    • anon

      We also have a nut-free school. I thought it would be a pain for my peanut butter-and-jelly girl but we switched pretty easily to sunflower seeds and butter (not quite the variety but still good). Any time I would add nuts, I put in seeds instead, I just don’t have a replacement for loose nuts, seeds are too messy to send alone. I was tired of spending the $$ on the sunflower seed butter so I bought some raw in bulk and I roast a batch when I have the oven on already and toss them in the food processor and add little veggie oil, salt, and sweetener (sorghum is my favorite but not easy to find) when it is balls up. I saved an store-bought jar that I refill and my daughter doesn’t even know (important because I botched the 1st batch and so she is hung up on the store-bought vs. homemade).

  3. I recently saw a great post about making homemade larabars: http://ohsheglows.com/2008/12/08/homemade-banana-bread-larabars/

    Haven’t tried them but am very excited to!

    • asonomagarden

      Carly, thanks for the link! My oldest was requesting ‘Z bars’. We’ve never had them, but he’s seen the kids at school eat them. Maybe this will satisfy him.

  4. Danielle

    What’s your recipe for homemade crackers?

  5. dorothy

    My little one and I just made these nuts and they are fantastic!! Thanks for the idea.

  6. Wow, homemade snacks! You’re amazing! Do you have the recipe for crackers?

  7. Ha, I made tortillas from scratch once to avoid taking my triplets to the store :)
    I recently made marshmallows from scratch.
    My next mission is to make fruit snacks from scratch. My kids are obsessed with Welchs fruit snacks. I have been researching a way to make my own. If you have any ideas or want to try a recipe for me let me know :)

  8. See now that’s a perfect snack for me too! Add a martini for the olive and I’m all set!

    Homemade crackers sounds like fun. I’ve got the Bittman book… will have to look that up.

  9. Doh! This is actually your old friend Compostings, but wordpress won’t let me comment that way! It’s defaulting to my improv group…

  10. Yep, that’s my kind of work. Hummus is my go-to snack. And roasted chickpeas. Yum.

    School lunches, though. . . I joked with my 11 year old yesterday that making lunches is why I wanted her to keep homeschooling. Gah, I hated making those! I’d much rather cook at home or pack a take-along one day a week.

    Smart of you to streamline things. My kids actually did campaign for less “weird” lunches, which was odd, since we’re in a place where people bring all sorts of food, but peer pressure is peer pressure. Funny, that doesn’t happen at homeschool park days.

  11. oooh, cannot wait to try those nuts. (first thing manana) many thanks!

  12. anon

    Homemade graham crackers are a hit at my house. Far better than store-bought.

    Bittman does have several recipes that I’ve used to put a little variety in my daughters school box. The one that comes to mind is the white bean puree (essentially hummus but simpler) — I added celery root and served it over toast and my kids inhaled it at home and finished it off cold with bread at school. His no-knead bread with absolutely nothing else is also a welcome addition to the lunch box (I mix white-wheat and whole wheat flour and add flax meal and nutritional yeast to up the nutritional profile a bit).

  13. I love making granola bars. The kids and I throw in whichever nuts, seeds, and dried fruit we can find in the pantry. I mix it with honey and oil and an egg white. After they have baked off they are soooo good. The kids love them (I have to keep myself from them a bit because they pack enough calories to power an adult up a small mountain).

  14. Pingback: How I Make Almond Milk (I don’t know why I make this stuff, Mom.) « A Sonoma Garden

  15. Pingback: Walnuts : : A Tough Nut to Crack | A Sonoma Garden

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