Back to school: 7 delicious, healthful morning snacks

The summer vacation is over! Time for school! Books, pencil case, diary… anything missing from your satchel? A mid-morning or afternoon snack, of course! Here are some ideas that might take some of the ‘blues’ out of ‘back to school’!
After nearly three long months of fun and games, the seaside, swimming, excursions, games and novelty for our children, the time comes to return to school activities where they left off. Uniforms for some, and, for all − as the new school year progresses, with daily routines gradually kicking in −, mid-morning or afternoon snacks. It’s nice to meet up with your school friends again, and perhaps greet your favorite teachers too. But it is a trying time, too, during which children’s day to day life rhythms change. The alarm clock goes off. Then sitting hour after hour chained to a desk… it will take a little time to get used to school life again!
Special mid-morning or afternoon snacks help recoup the energy and commitment to make things work, as the term begins. We recommend snacks that are healthfully flavorsome and easy to prepare!

Variety is the spice of life!

Variety is, in itself, a vital dietary requisite for balanced and comprehensive nutrition. Our meals should always vary, whether breakfast, mid-morning and afternoon snacks, lunch or dinner. The Mediterranean Diet − a dietary model acknowledged by UNESCO in 2010 as belonging to humankind’s “intangible cultural heritage” − is a good guide when selecting the best options for our kids (seasonal fruit and vegetables, cereals, legumes, good fats such as in olive oil, fish, white meat, dairy products and red meat, but in limited quantities!).
The golden rule is to eat a little bit of everything. For us all, whether adults or children, whether we’re athletes or more sedentary in our habits.
The principle is all very well. But when it comes to snacks for our kids? Can we give them all the variety and genuineness they deserve? Can we strike the right balance between our kids’ preferences and practicality? Including getting everything ready on time and packing it so everything makes it to school in one piece? Here are a few ideas!

A different snack for every day of the week

We recommend 7 snacks, healthfully flavorsome and easy to prepare, that are bound to please everyone.

           Something savory?

  1. As an alternative to the standard tasty mid-morning boiled ham roll, you might consider a tuna mini-sandwich with tomato. Canned tuna provides a marvelously nutritious snack with an added advantage (it’s preservative-free!). Tuna is rich in nutrients (but you must choose quality products!). We suggest small milk bread rolls, ideal for size and softness. Just drain off all the oil from the tuna flesh; and slice and then dice your tomatoes, so that even your youngest children can just ‘dig in’.
  2. Home-baked ‘focaccina’ flat bread can be prepared with olives in the dough, using white or whole meal flour. You choose! As a special treat for our children, you might want to bake a round ‘focaccia’ with the color of the sun. How? By adding a teaspoonful of turmeric to your flour, baking powder and salt mix. Turmeric is endowed with a variety of healthful properties, too (exerting anti-inflammatory, purifyng, antioxidant and digestive actions). Use our recipe for your ‘focaccia alle olive’!
  3. Multicolor crunchy ‘vegetable fingers’ varying from season to season (carrot, fennel, cucumber, celery). Add some flaked Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese) or nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pine nuts or pistachio (toasted, shelled and preferably unsalted).

           Something sweet?

  1. Bound to raise a smile! For a snack that everyone loves, we suggest simple loaf bread or milk bread-roll chocolate minitoasts. If you want low-sugar and wish to avoid low-quality fats, please read the product descriptions before buying! Our Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread, for example, contains an abundance of Italian hazelnuts, cane sugar, cocoa powder, fragrant Bourbon vanilla and our own top quality olive oil!
  2. If you have the time, a slice of home-baked cake is the perfect snack – not only healthful but also easy on your billfold. Kids also love jam tarts! You may want to replace your butter with olive oil. See our recipe for more information!
  3. If your children had a full breakfast in the morning they’ll probably just need some fresh seasonal fruit for their mid-morning break. Bananas are most convenient. Crisply fresh apples, sliced or unsliced; grapes; a poke filled with blueberries, or a mandarin or tangerine. The range of fruits available is endless!
  4. A top quality alternative to the usual snack? Look no further! Artisan confectionery items sold in convenient single portion packagings. Thanks to the excellence of the ingredients and the simple methods of production, our products are always very much in demand. Our most popular snacks? Amaretti Morbidi (soft macaroons), made the traditional way of the Piedmontese, with top quality apricot kernel (bitter almond). Another is our hazelnut and chocolate Baci di Dama alla Nocciola. Temptations that cannot be resisted!

Enjoy the coming school year!