March Break: Snack preparation for hungry kids

March break is on its way and with the kids out of school, you likely have a busy week of outings, day trips and family-filled activities planned. But are you prepped and ready for when hunger strikes while wandering around the museum, riding on the ski lift or travelling in the car?

Instead of stressing about keeping the kids and yourself well fueled throughout the break, plan ahead and ensure all your snacking needs are met when hunger strikes. Having snacks available that combine a source of protein with a source of carbohydrate will keep energy levels up and make sure everyone is well nourished and happy until the next meal.

Getting the kids involved in the process of choosing and preparing different snack combinations can be an activity of its own. As a bonus, giving the kids some say in the snack decision making process is a great way to make them feel empowered and more likely to enjoy the snack itself.

We know what you’re thinking – what types of snacks fit the bill that are portable and won’t make a mess?

Your local in-store registered dietitian at Pickering Loblaws has you covered with these five tips that can be enjoyed at home or on-the-go! All can be customized to your family’s liking and may just become new family favourites.

  1. Mix it up. With a DIY trail mix the possibilities are endless. Combine your favourite cereals, roasted chickpeas, dried fruits, chocolate chips and pretzels, and declare it your very own blend.
  2. The kids will flip for pancake sandwiches. Everyone loves pancakes, and they are a great option for more than just breakfast! Spread some nut or seed butter between two for a fun twist on the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  3. String the cheese along for the ride. Cheese strings will never go out of style! Encourage your kids to unleash their creative side by making broomsticks or octopuses with their cheese strings. Enjoy them with some grapes or apple wedges for a balanced snack.
  4. “Don’t miss oat.” Oatmeal bites are an easy and healthy snack. After a quick whirl in the food processor, let the kids help you shape dough into bite-sized balls, and roll in dried coconut or cocoa powder. These are always a hit, and transport well.
  5. Let’s get popping. Popcorn is a great snack for more than just the movie theater! Serve it with some milk (or milk alternative like soy milk) for some protein fueled staying power.

Your local in-store registered dietitian is here to help you with more meal and snack ideas for your family. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit

Lisa Ireland is a registered dietitian with Pickering Loblaws. She is part of a network of more than 70 dietitians who provide services like one-on-one consultations, assisted shopping, school tours and recipe ideas at locations across the country.

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