Protein-rich snacks without nuts
Are you running out of ideas for what to put in your children’s lunch boxes and snack sacks? Not to mention your own brown paper bags! With most schools and daycare centers abiding by the “no-nut policy” – if only they could also have a “no-crap policy!” – it is sometimes difficult to provide a protein-rich snack for our little ones. And even for us, moms and dads, who have a nasty tendency to eat leftovers from the kiddos anyway. Plus, most schools don’t have refrigerators, so the options are even more limited!
No worries, I’ve got you covered! Here are a few ideas of snacks that are rich in protein, don’t contain nuts, and can stay out of the fridge for a few hours (or forever!).
Combine them with healthy carbs such as a piece of fruit or minimally processed whole grains. You will obtain a balanced snack for your child or for yourself. By the way, when I say minimally processed, what I mean is “no more than 5 ingredients listed on the label”. If you don’t have any such products in your pantry, don’t panic! Just start replacing them little by little with healthier choices. When change happens progressively, nobody really pays attention.
Healthy snacks rich in protein – no nuts – no fridge:
- Seeds: they can be a great alternative to forbidden nuts. They are rich in protein and other nutrients, don’t take up much space, and there are plenty to choose from. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are usually a hit.
- Edamame is also a good snack that can stay out of the fridge for a little while. To add variety, you can sometimes choose it pre-cooked in the pod, and sometimes roasted and crunchy.
- Crispy crunchy chickpeas: they come in many different flavors. Find the ones you and your kids like the most and go for them!
- Cheese: of course, we think babybel and string cheese, but you can also cut pieces of all your favorite cheeses and roll them up in plastic wrap. Getting your children to appreciate all kinds of cheeses is a great way to develop their taste for the good things of this world. Did I ever tell you I am French? Furthermore, keep in mind that when you eat a stronger cheese, you don’t need as much of it to feel satisfied. You know, it’s like chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the less you eat at once. Because the taste is so powerful that a small piece is enough. So when you or your children start appreciating more flavorful cheeses, you will also feel content with a smaller amount of them. Don’t you like that idea?
- Dried seaweed (nori, kelp…): they are often sold in individual packages and are super light, which makes them great if your child’s backpack (or yours) is heavy. You might want to pack gum or a toothbrush with them though. The taste has a tendency to stick around!
- Jerky: you can alternate beef jerky, turkey jerky, but also salmon jerky if you can afford it. They are all somewhat high in sodium, but once you know it and make sure you compensate with less salty foods during the day, then you’re all good. Oh, by the way, don’t forget to provide plenty of water to your child when there is jerky on the menu!
Of course, in case nuts are not an issue, then those are always a great snack to keep in mind. Almonds, pecan, cashew, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts… and all the kinds of butters that come from them obviously. Keep an eye on the portions though. I have an article to help you with that and to help you figure out when nuts are really good for you.
Meal prep counts for snacks too!
Remember that most of the time, unless you or your child has a specific condition, what is healthy for your child is healthy for you too (and vice versa). Keep in mind also that we usually derail from our wellness goals when we are starving and unprepared. So if you are making healthy snacks for your little treasure, why not prepare double portion so that you too are covered.
Take 30 minutes on Sunday night to get all your snacks ready for the week. Put them in small bags and in a closed container and grab them as you go during the week. You will save time, energy, money, and so much frustration! Once you have done that for a month or two, healthy snacks will be second nature for you rather than a source of headaches.
Having a healthy snack is fantastic, but it won’t help much if you don’t start your day and your child’s day with a healthy balanced breakfast. Read my article “What to eat for breakfast” for a list of quick and easy breakfast ideas.
If you want more ideas or need help with Balanced Meal Planning, let me know. I am here to support you. Contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a FREE 20-minute phone call so that we can chat.
PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.
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