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7 Yummy Lunchbox Snacks Your Kids Won’t Trade Away

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Before my kids started going to school, I witnessed my friend and her son battle over his lunchbox. A few weeks after kindergarten had started, she discovered he wasn’t eating all of his lunch each day and was even trading away a lot of the food. He would come home hungry and asking for tons of snacks. When she finally figured out why, they had to institute some lunchbox rules no trading was allowed, and he had to leave all leftover food in the lunchbox for when he went home. Things quickly turned around once he had a little accountability in his life and he actually started to eat his lunch!

I learned a lot watching the two of them and was ready when my daughter started school. We set up some guidelines and rules from the beginning, but I also thought long and hard about what foods to pack in her lunchbox. If I packed wholesome foods that I knew she liked and would eat, the chances of her eating all the foods in her lunchbox were much higher!

Here are a few of those lunchbox snack ideas that have kept my kids from trading away their food. Hopefully they can be an inspiration for you, too!

  • Lovable Lunchbox Snacks! 1 of 8
    lunchbox snacks

    These wholesome snacks will go straight from your child's lunchbox to their own little mouths!

  • Chocolate Cranberry Raisin Bran Muffins 2 of 8
    chocolate cranberry raising bran muffins

    I recently created this recipe for chocolate cranberry raisin bran muffins when thinking about wholesome snack ideas for my kids' lunches. Chocolate-covered raisins were my inspiration for this muffin, and we ended up with a delicious snack that my third-grader could not stop eating!

    Make chocolate cranberry raisin bran muffins

    Photo Source: Jane Maynard

  • Homemade Yogurt-Covered Cranberries 3 of 8
    yogurt-covered cranberries

    My kids loooooove dried cranberries. We decided to make some homemade yogurt-covered cranberries this week to get ready for the new school year, and the kids loved them! Fair warning: The coating is more like frosting than yogurt. The girls kept sticking their fingers in the mixing bowl and saying, "Mmmmm, I love this frosting!" Nevertheless, it's a tasty treat of a snack they certainly won't trade away!

    Yogurt-Covered Cranberries

    Recipe from The Kitchn, but rewritten with my notes

    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
    • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • Pinch salt
    • 2 cups powdered sugar, plus 1 Tablespoon for dusting the cranberries
    • 3 cups reduced-sugar dried cranberries

    In a small bowl, whisk together water, vanilla and gelatin. Set aside for 5 minutes.

    In another small bowl, mix yogurt, honey and salt. Microwave on high for 45-60 seconds, stopping to stir the mixture every 5-10 seconds. The mixture should be warm to the touch and thinned out, but do not let it come to a boil.

    Whisk the water and yogurt mixtures together in a mixing bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and whisk until well mixed. 

    In another mixing bowl, dust dried cranberries with the powdered sugar. Pour half of the "frosting" over the cranberries, and toss to coat well. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or waxed paper. Let sit uncovered for about 1 hour. Place cranberries back in the mixing bowl, and pour remainder of "frosting" over the cranberries and toss to coat once again. Spread on the cookie sheet, and let sit overnight until completely dried, flipping the cranberries once or twice during the drying process. (If you forget to flip them, no worries everything still turns out okay!)

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature. 

    Photo Source: Jane Maynard

  • Homemade Yogurt and Applesauce Pouches 4 of 8
    cate's yogurt

    I absolutely love the convenience of individually packed yogurt tubes and applesauce pouches. However, sometimes we like to mix up our own yogurt and fruit creations but still want to be able to easily pack our creative saucy snacks in the kids' lunch boxes. I was recently introduced to a company that makes reusable pouches called Little Green Pouch. We fill these babies with yogurt and applesauce, and the potential for new flavors using fresh fruits is endless! The kids love using the pouches, and they are easy to wash and reuse! 

    Cate's Raspberry Yogurt in a Pouch!

    My daughter Cate recently created this "recipe," and she is mighty proud of it! 

    • Vanilla-Flavored Greek Yogurt
    • Fresh Raspberries

    Smash a small handful of raspberries in a bowl. Add to one serving of the yogurt and mix well. Pour into the reusable pouch and freeze. Place frozen yogurt pouch in lunchbox and enjoy at snack time!

    Photo Source: Jane Maynard

  • GORP 5 of 8
    GORP

    GORP is always a great snack option! This classic trail mix made with "good old raisins and peanuts" is highly customizable and always a welcome snack with kids. I love that I can pack in lots of nutritional ingredients, too. Traditionally this trail mix is made with peanuts, raisins and chocolate candies, but you can get creative with other nuts and dried fruits, too! 

    Get more great GORP inspiration!

    Photo source: Kelsey Banfield

  • Fruit Cups 6 of 8
    del monte dice mango fruit cup

    Whenever we walk down the canned fruit and veggie aisle at the store, it never fails that my kids spot the fruit cups. And it never fails that they ask me to buy them! Fruit cups are always a winner with my kids, and when I do buy them they disappear quickly!

    Photo Source: Jane Maynard

  • Clementines (a.k.a. Cuties) 7 of 8
    cuties

    This one is super simple but is hands down one of the most successful snacks in the Maynard family repertoire. My kids would never trade away a clementine (also known as "cutie") orange! And I love that they can peel them on their own, which makes tossing them in the lunch box even easier!

    Photo Source: Jane Maynard

  • Hummus Guacamole Dip with Corn Chips 8 of 8
    hummus guacamole dip

    Not only do my kids love this dip, but it's one of my favorite snacks, too! This hummus guacamole dip is incredibly tasty and chock-full of healthy ingredients, so there is no guilt associated with this snack! I like to pack a little container of the dip with a baggie of corn chips in my kids' lunchbox.

    Make hummus guacamole dip

Read more from Jane at This Week for DinnerKitchen Tunage and The Spoiler Alert. For more updates, follow Jane on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

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