It’s that time of the year when we’re either headed back to school (as many of the kiddies are) or back to work after a relaxing summer break. I don’t know about you but I feel like this time of the year is more of a ‘New Year’ to me than January is…maybe it’s because I’m 33 and I was in school 13 years ago so I still feel the back-to-school vibe every time August comes to an end and September rolls in. It surely still feels like summer here in NYC- it was 90 degrees this weekend and we’re headed into another day of 90 degrees later this week. I sure could use a cool breeze and some orange, red and yellow leaves changing but I’m not complaining since snow is right around the corner, I’m sure.
I’m ready for fall and apple cider and getting cozy on the chilly evenings. But until then, I’ll hang on to my open-toed shoes for awhile longer and enjoy the warm weather that Mother Nature is sharing with us. And just in time for that fall kick-off season, I want to share some healthy Clean Eating Back to School snacks to inspire you to clean up your kiddies lunchbox or even your snack bag for work. Because, at the end of the day- we’re all still kids and you know you’ve still got that kid inside of you that loves healthy packaged foods, don’t you?
Now, I’m not one to reach for a box of processed food. You all know that by now and after reading my cookbook, but surely we all don’t have the time to make homemade granola bars and snacks every day. So, I’m going to share with you a few of my go-to snacks that can be enjoyed anytime of the year and anywhere. The best news? These bars are organic, gluten-free and peanut free. Plus, they don’t contain any GMO’s or artificial ingredients! Now that’s what I call real food in a box. I discovered Nature’s Path about a decade ago when I was in college and I swear I lived on their cereal all four years. It was the BEST. Fast forward ten years and here I am still eating (and loving) their amazing variety of products-beyond the cereal box. So, what’s so great about this brand and why do I carry their products in my bag at all times to meetings, on airplanes, when traveling on trains and more in my 30’s (well past the days of school)? Because I trust them. Because there are the most incredible people behind this brand who truly care about the environment, the quality of our food and our health. Let’s chat a bit about what I’m loving from NP right now.
These bars are quite possibly the greatest invention ever. I mean EVER. I serve them to my clients for snacks and desserts when they need something quick and easy but satisfying and nutritious. These aren’t like the cardboard gluten-free bars that you’re used to eating. These are different. They’re chewy! Yes super chewy and my parents even enjoyed them, which is saying a lot since they are super picky and only eat the bars from my cookbook!
These bars are great for any age. As I mentioned, my clients who are in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s dive into these babies because they’re made from real food. You heard me. All real ingredients inside these bars. Something you can feel good about whether you’re enjoying them yourself on your commute to and from school or work or putting them in your kids lunchbox. The EnviroKidz Granola Bars and Crispy Rice Bars are the first organic, gluten-free, peanut-free bars for kids and they’re full of flavor…I did a taste test on them and was blown away by how much they packed in here. They’re also non-GMO and vegetarian. The Strawberry Granola Bars and Berry Blast Crispy Rice Bars. The Chocolate Crispy Rice Bars and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are my favorite for dessert- they’re satisfying and portion controlled so you don’t go eating the whole cake instead of just one slice…you know what I mean! One bar and you’re satisfied. I like dipping these bars into coconut milk yogurt for dessert and also breaking them up into tiny pieces to toss into my oatmeal (p.s. Nature’s Path has an amazing gluten-free oatmeal).
The little animals on the front wrappers and boxes are too cute for me to pass up. I know, I know. I sound like I’m 10 years old but the emoji’s that my sister and I send each other are cute animals and I know you all love them, too- so these will surely make you smile and if you have any kids in your home, they’ll surely put a big grin on their faces, as well. And what’s so incredible is that Nature’s Path gives back with each purchase because 1% sales support animal habitat conservation and education programs.
Something I found incredibly inspiring is that Nature’s Path is also launching a program to help get kids outside. I don’t know about you but I’m all for getting EVERYONE outside more. Remember the days when kids used to play outside? I feel like everyone is stuck inside now on their iPads or trying to study their way into Harvard instead of actually living more and experiencing all life has to offer. This is something I’ve personally been working on with myself is getting out in nature more. Getting my bare feet on the grass and grounding myself. Laying in the sand. Sticking my feet in the ocean. Watching the stars and the moon from the piers on the Hudson river. These are just a few ways I’m allowing my body (and especially my nervous system) to let go and heal every day. It’s challenging with our busy schedules but I think it’s so important to get back to our roots and make our way outside more often, which is why this initiative to get kiddies outside is amazing!
Remember days of hopping on your bike and taking off for a day of adventure, returning only for dinner? Kids these days don’t have the same incredible experience of exploratory, unstructured play; in fact, studies show that kids spend as little as 7 seconds per day in this way, and up to 7 hours a day in front of a screen! When I heard that I was in shock. Isn’t that sad? Kids who get outside and experience true nature play have been shown to be happier and less stressed, perform better in school, have increased imagination skills, are learners and show a decrease in symptoms associated with ADHD. All kids need is some real play time, real dirt on their hands and the sunshine beating down on them for a well-rounded lifestyle.
To help kids capture the lifelong health and social benefits of outside play, EnviroKidz has launched a new outdoor nature discovery program called “ecokeepers™” (envirokidz.com/ecokeepers). Free to schools and camps, it complements science and physical education curriculum by blending tactical hands-on discovery with geocaching, a modern day treasure hunt that uses GPS on smartphones to find hidden caches. Isn’t that adorable? Parents can download the Ecokeepers explorer guide to do with the family, and tell their teachers to get this free program in their schools!
This post was sponsored by Nature’s Path. All opinions are my own.