No Bake, Gluten Free, and Nut Free School Zone Safe!
School is right around the corner!
Or maybe some of you are already back into the school groove?! We’ve got a month before we are back, but my brain is already starting to switch gears to packing daily morning snacks and lunches for my school aged kiddos…as well as a brand new preschooler in the house!
Nut free school zone friendly food
Many schools today have adopted nut free school zone policies to protect kids with severe nut allergies. I’m all about keeping these kiddos safe, so our house has learned how to be nut free for school hours if we happen to be in a nut free zone. We haven’t had much of it in our elementary school, but most of our preschool experiences have been nut free, and these little seed based energy bites are just the ticket for little hands!
It is good to keep rotating different foods for our kiddos anyway, so having to think outside the box and not always use nuts for snacky protein is a good idea. It keeps different nutrients flowing into our kids bodies and changes things up!
Nutrient dense *and* quick prep!
My goal is never to be packing snacks and lunches for more than 5-10 minutes each day. I just don’t have the time for fancy bento box creations (Bravo to you super creative mommas that do! I totally envy your talent!). I do, however, always have at the forefront of my mind to be filling the kids up on food that will fuel them for their busy day, as well as nourish their growing brains and bodies.
So these little seed based energy bites not only fill my nourishment requirements with nutrient dense chia seeds and sunflower seeds as well as potassium rich dates instead of sugar for sweetener, they also don’t take any more than 5 minutes to roll up! Get the kids in on helping you roll up these fun snacks, and you can have a freezer full in a matter of 30 minutes to get you through those first few weeks of school.
YES! I said pack out that freezer momma! Remember my goal? No more than 5-10 minutes of lunchbox packing for this busy momma. Prep a bunch of these snack bites, freeze them flat on a sheet tray, and then scoop them all into a freezer bag. You can pop them into lunchboxes or snack containers as easy as pie and they will thaw out by lunchtime!
Happy school year dear momma! I hope this will help your lunchbox packing rotation go a little bit smoother!
– 1 cup Medjool datesMedjool dates, pitted
– 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
– 2 tbsp chia seed (I used white chia seed so the color wasn’t changed much, but black chia will work too)
– ¼ tsp cinnamon
– ¼ tsp sea salt (if your seeds are salted you may want to leave this out)
– 1 cup dried apples (I used organic dried apples I found in the dried fruit/produce section of our grocer – you can dry out your own though too!)
1. Put the dates, seeds, cinnamon, and salt in your food processor and blend to combine until the mixture is sticky and can be pressed together. You will only be blending in the dried apples for 5-10 seconds, so make sure the mixture is just how you like it. You won’t want to over-blend it once the apples are in, or you won’t have the little apple bits throughout the mixture.
2. Add the apples and blend for about 5-10 seconds. You should see little bits of apple throughout the mixture.
3. Pinch off the apple/seed mixture and roll into the sized bites that you want. These can be stored in the pantry or fridge, or stored for months in the freezer. They transfer to a lunchbox to the freezer very well, thawing out by lunchtime!
More lunchbox snacks you might like!
Renee is a wife and momma of 3, the vision behind Raising Generation Nourished, and the author of Nourished Beginnings, a cookbook focused on nutrient-dense recipes for infants, toddlers and beyond inspired by traditional foods. She is passionate about raising the next generation of kids with a better understanding where their food comes from, and how food affects their bodies. She is committed to teaching others that simple, real food can make positive changes in health and can be done on a tight budget, all while making the kids smile.