Now that school is back in session, your plate is certainly quite full…metaphorically speaking at least! With homework, practices, games, errands and goodness knows what else, it’s hard for a mom to find a universally pleasing snack. You may want something healthy that will keep you in those shorts until the first frost, but your child turns up his or her nose at the site of anything deemed “healthy”. That’s why I had a quick chat with the brain behind Yoplait Whips and the CEO of Funky Monkey Snacks , Matt Herzog to find out what the options are for busy moms who want snacks they and their children can just grab and go.

According to Matt, there are five simple rules for satisfying yours and your children’s cravings, all while keeping the health nut in you sane. They are:

  1. Taste. This seems like a no-brainer, but the universal demand is for something that appeals to the taste buds, no matter what the age. The younger demographic tends to be a little pickier, so if you can capture their devotion, the adult component is a piece of cake (no pun intended!)
  2. Convenience. As busy parents shuttle their children to soccer practice and beyond, it only makes sense to bring snacks in the car. Items that don’t need refrigeration and come in smaller sizes are perfect for transportability and allow for both parties to enjoy during all that travel time.
  3. Healthy. While this factor is definitely more of a score for adults with their own health goals in mind, kids love it too because an adult almost never says “no” to a healthy snack, which can quickly turn it into a reliable favorite!
  4. Fun. Colorful packaging, a familiar character on the side or a great back story to the product can quickly send healthy snacks to the top of the list for kids and adults. To reverse the above rule, kids definitely have the stronger affinity for such tactics, but adults love it because a cartoon can make a healthy snack appealing and encourage a child to eat fruits, vegetables and other important staples that might not otherwise seem appealing.
  5. Variety. Young or old, everyone likes to have a choice, even if they end up playing favorites. Snacks that come in many different flavors and colors provide what seems like an endless array of options for kids or the kid-like part of any adult.

So with these rules in mind, what are some of the best options out there? Matt suggest easy snacks that can be bought or made in bulk such as; freeze dried fruit, protein bars, fruit snacks (such as his Funky Monkey snacks) as well as fruits and veggies accompanied by dips like low fat peanut butter and yogurt. Matt also suggests putting a healthier spin on some well known snacks. He claims, “Stick with things that are good for you. Popcorn is a great option, as long as you look out for the partially hydrogenated oils and skip the butter. Crackers are great too if you choose whole grain and pair with cheese or peanut butter.”

He also suggests making your own trail mix by combining selections of nuts, whole grain cereal and freeze dried fruit. As far as a great pre-game snack, Herzog suggests low fat yogurt mixed with granola or some fruit to give your children the one-two punch of protein and carbs they’ll need to power through the competition (and you’ll need to survive the break until dinner)! As far as drinks go, Herzog believes strongly in water over sports drinks. He suggests adding in sugar free flavor mixes if you or child tires of plain water; but all in all water is best for hydration.

For more information on Matt Herzog or his Funky Monkey snacks, please visit www.funkymonkeysnacks.com