The crazy busy summer living is now behind us as we start up the new school year. In place of last minute camping trips or impromptu bike rides around Galbraith, schedules and routines fill our day. Life is busy but in a different way.
As a dietitian, and as a parent, I know having hearty, nutritious snacks on hand, makes for an easier, smoother day. A balanced snack helps keep blood sugars stable, “hanger” at bay, and therefore a more energetic and happy kiddo.
By choosing snacks that contain a good source of fiber, protein, and fat, you can prevent the blood sugar roller coaster and the dreaded emotions that come along with it.
However, not all snacks are created equal. Snacks that are just naked carbs, like crackers, chips, even a plain piece of fruit, can quickly lead to a blood sugar spike followed by a blood sugar drop, and usually the consequential meltdown. By choosing snacks that contain a good source of fiber, protein, and fat, you can prevent the blood sugar roller coaster and the dreaded emotions that come along with it, keeping you, your kiddo, and everyone else happy.
Here are some good examples:
- ½ apple (fiber) and cheddar cheese (protein & fat)
- Carrots (fiber) and hummus (protein & fat)
- Berries (fiber) and yogurt (protein & fat)
- ½ firm banana (fiber) and peanut butter (protein & fat)
- Bell pepper (fiber) and hard-boiled egg (protein & fat)
- Cucumber (fiber) and smoked salmon (protein & fat)
- Whole grain bread (fiber) and liver pate (protein & fat)
Another good example are my Back to School Power Bites. Not only are they allergen friendly, but they taste like a treat—a little sweet and a little salty. They are rich in fiber, and pack a good punch of protein and fat to help balance blood sugars.
- 2 firm medium bananas, mashed (~3/4 cup)
- 3 tablespoons salted nut/seed butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Redmond’s sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Optional: mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter or oil a mini muffin tin. Set aside.
Meanwhile in a medium bowl mash the two bananas and stir in the nut/seed butter, honey, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir until well combined.
In a separate bowl mix together the coconut flour, almond flour, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, and baking powder. Make sure to break apart any lumps. Transfer the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix with a spoon until well combined. If you want to add chocolate chips stir them in afterwards.
Transfer to the oiled muffin tin and bake for 25 minute or until golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before eating. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Makes 12 mini muffins. Nutrition per Muffin: 63kcal, 8g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g protein, 3g fat.
By Selva Wohlgemuth, Co-op News Contributor
Selva Wohlgemuth is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Happy Belly Nutrition in Bellingham, Washington. She specializes in gut health and has an in-depth knowledge of women's health. She is an avid outdoorswoman and mother.