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Healthier snack choices for busy families after Labor Day

After Labor Day school begins along with fall sports. Bustling mornings and busy evenings will be a part of most American families come September. Stock up the refrigerator with some healthier choices for the family so that when the kids reach for something it's a healthier option. Snacks with hydrogenated oils, genetically modified foods, starchy and sugary foods only lead to inflammation in the body. Being healthy is about small tweaks in the routine. Always choose the healthier option even on the run. All those small changes add up to a healthier diet.

Delicious potato

While home cooked meals are always the best with whole food ingredients, also stock up on these items:

Dr. Praegar's spinach or broccoli pancakes - packed full of veggies, egg whites and healthy oils, these little pancakes are a great substitution for regular pancakes or waffles. They are a savory breakfast and can be served with a small dollop of sour cream, apple sauce on the side, or even hot sauce and salsa. Moms will find these in the freezer section of any Sprouts, Fresh Market or Trader Joe's.

Amy's gluten free personal pizzas are quite good. If the kids are going to eat pizza as a snack in the afternoon, it may as well be as healthy as possible. The gluten free dough when baked correctly has a nice crunchy texture.

Amy's frozen pocket sandwiches with feta cheese are delicious little morsels and can be popped in the toaster oven.

Multigrain bread, avocado and sliced organic tomato sandwich. Killer Dave's bread is not only a fun novelty (read his story on the back of his packaging) but his breads have a slight sweet flavor but are full of nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains. Thinly slice tomato, slice up some avocado and layer them on one side of the bread. Top with a little bit of Himalayan Sea Salt and pepper. On the other side drizzle a good ranch dressing or spread cilantro onion dip on the other side. Slice into quarters and have them ready for after school.

Amy's California Veggie Burgers are the best. It doesn't matter if there are no vegetarians in the house, these burgers are a savory treat with brown rice, veggies (that kids don't even know are there) and good cheese. The patties can be put in the toaster oven and when brown and a bit crispy, put them on a healthy bun, top with a slice of organic, sharp cheddar, a flavored mustard and it makes a great snack.

Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes when baked ahead of time are an easy snack and can be topped with all kinds of healthy ingredients. Leave the baked potatoes in a bowl and show the kids various toppings to add such as shredded Monterey Jack cheese, beans, salsa, hot sauce, organic sour cream, left over vegetables from the night before.

And to save the best for last always have a large fruit bowl out and visible so that the kids see it first when they come in the kitchen. Peaches and plums are delicious in the fall. Or, when the family is all coming through the door this fall have a tray of cut, washed veggies (even pre-cut with a store bought dip is better than a bag of Cheetos) and a delicious sour cream dip ready to go.

Enjoy the fall!

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