Healthy Foods for Back-to-School!

It’s that time of year! Back-to-School which means packing Back-to-School lunches and after-school snacks! Here are my favorites this school year!

MadeGood Crispy Light Granola and Mini Soft Baked Mini Cookies are sure to be a hit! available for purchase online and in retailers and grocery stores nationwide.

The snacks are produced in a dedicated facility free from the eight common allergens: peanut, tree nuts, wheat, dairy, egg, soy, sesame, fish and shellfish. They are also gluten-free, organic and Non-GMO project verified, making them the perfect travel- and office-safe selections!



The Soft Baked Mini Cookies are available in four flavors – Double Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate Banana. It’s important to note the cookies do not contain eggs, milk, butter or wheat flour.

My favorites are the Chocolate Banana and the Chocolate Chip!

The Crispy Light Granola pairs perfectly with milk, yogurt and a smoothie. The low-sugar, nutrient-rich snack comes in four irresistible flavors – Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Banana, Strawberry, and Cocoa Crunch.  My favorite is the Strawberry!

I’m sure they will be a hit with your family too!

This next product is a Back-to-School Lunchbox must! 

I love how this one sneaks in the healthy veggies!

FROM THE GROUND UP is an award-winning line of delicious cauliflower-based crackers and pretzels that have a serving of veggies in each 1oz. snack serving!  The snacks are Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten Free Certified and made with vegan ingredients.  FROM THE GROUND UP snacks are a fun and tasty way to sneak in some nutrition at snack time.  FROM THE GROUND UP made its retail launch a few months ago – just in-time for back-to-school – and has been a big hit. FROM THE GROUND UP Crackers come in three flavors, including Sea Salt, Cheddar and Nacho; and the Pretzels come in Original flavor in Sticks and Twists shapes.  I love the pretzels!

Looking for an alternative to juice boxes and sugary drinks?

 BOS Iced Tea, a new line of refreshing, ready-to-drink organic rooibos teas is a fun, healthy alternative to sugary juice boxes and sodas.  BOS Iced Tea will be a hit with your kids and I’m sure they will also love the brightly colored cans! They look pretty cool! Each can of BOS is crafted with organic rooibos, an antioxidant rich and nutrient-dense superfood from South Africa. Naturally caffeine-free, only 70 calories per can and lower in sugar, kiddos will be nagging you for their new favorite (secretly better-for-them!) sip! BOS Iced Teas are also Certified Organic and Non-GMO verified, and flavor varieties include Lemon, Green Rooibos & Yuzu, Peach, Berry and Lime & Ginger. My son liked the Green Rooibos and my favorite is the Peach!

Here are 5 RD Approved After School Snacks from Jo Bartell!

We all know that kids often come home from school ravenous and ready to eat anything and everything in sight. Instead of filling them with unhealthy options, be prepared with some easy, RD-approved after school snacks that your kids will love (and so will you).

RDN Jo Bartell says that the key to any snack combo is a blend of protein & fiber. As a general rule, she suggests you shoot for snacks that contribute more than 3 grams of fiber and more than 5 grams of protein. Instead of dreading after school snacks, see it as an opportunity to incorporate valuable nutrients that are often missed in other meals. Jo has come up with 5 easy snack ideas that fit the bill and will keep your child fueled and focused until dinnertime!


What: 1Ž2 cup cottage cheese + 1Ž2 cup blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and/or raspberries.


Why: Cottage cheese is a super underrated food that is both versatile and jam-packed with protein. For a sweet and ultra satisfying snack, pair cottage cheese with fiber-filled and antioxidant-rich mixed berries.



What: 3 tablespoons hummus + veggie sticks (carrots, radish, jicama, celery, bell pepper, broccoli or endive leaves)


Why: Hummus packs in the plant-based protein with chickpeas, and the other ingredients, which are typically tahini and olive oil, are wonderful sources of heart-healthy fat to slow down digestion and keep you feeling satiated throughout the afternoon. Think outside of the box with colorful and crunchy veggie dippers–more color and variety in the veggies you choose means more beneficial vitamins and minerals!



What: A brown rice cake or two topped with a tablespoon natural nut butter, sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


Why: Getting in whole grains throughout the day is super important, especially if those whole grains are replacing their white (refined) counterparts. The fiber-filled rice cakes will go perfectly with vitamin-C packed strawberries and healthy fat + protein filled nut butter to keep energy up until dinner.



What: Pistachios and fruit


Why: Pistachios always help crush hunger with their crunch and combo of protein, fiber and healthy fat. As a bonus, pistachios are a fantastic source of both potassium and vitamin B6. Pair them with antioxidant-packed plums and you have a delicious solution for your child’s afternoon sweet craving. Try Setton Farms’ new Pistachio + Plum Chewy Bites as your one-stop-shop for a powerful and delicious combination of pistachios and plums that will provide you with powerful energy to get through the afternoon. Setton Farms is my favorite brand of pistachios- they even have naturally flavored pistachios!

I had the opportunity to taste these yummy treats from Setton Farms and they are absolutely delicious!



What: 2 corn tortillas rolled up with 2 tablespoons mashed avocado, sliced tomato and cucumber.


Why: Corn tortillas contribute whole grains and fiber, so choose those over flour tortillas whenever you can. Avocado adds flavor, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that works to lower bad cholesterol (a.k.a LDL) and raise good cholesterol (a.k.a HDL). And, even though we usually don’t think of avocados as a source of fiber and protein, they are actually super rich in both! Again, sneaking in tomatoes and cucumbers will add crunch and an extra vegetable serving or two for the day.


About Jo Bartell

Jo Bartell is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a mater’s degree and has extensive training and experience guiding individuals with various health conditions in achieving nutrition-related goals. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Skidmore College, and earned an MS in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics from New York University (NYU). At NYU, she also completed her dietetic internship. She currently lives in San Francisco with her own private practice nutrition counseling and consulting business. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Bay Area Dietetics Association, along with several Dietetics Practice Groups of AND including Women’s Health, Weight Management, Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition, and Nutrition Entrepreneurs. When she’s not working, she loves food shopping, cooking, traveling, riding horses, and long walks around the city with her dogs, Winston and Nikki.

Find her on Instagram @she_dishes

About Setton Farms

Setton Farms is a family owned business based in California’s Central Valley and are the 2nd largest producer and processor of pistachios in the United States.  The business started as a small bakery in Brooklyn in 1959 and expanded to growing pistachios in 1987. They are a vertically integrated company and are able to focus on every step of the pistachio process from harvesting, to processing, to shipping. The processing plant has a 1.7MW solar power system and their post-harvest operations is 100% solar powered. Their products range from plain pistachios to flavored pistachios to their iconic Pistachio Chewy Bites.

Pistachio + Plum Chewy Bites are all-natural bite-sized bars packed with over 50% California grown pistachios, plums, date nectar and a touch of lemon. Each individually wrapped bite is loaded with protein, fiber, iron, potassium and antioxidants making them an ideal, on-the-go, heart healthy snack that is both delicious and nutrient dense.

Pricing: 6-Pack $5.99

Instagram: @pistachiochewybites



Available in major grocery store chains across the country such as: Bristol Farms, Albertson’s, Associated Grocers, C&S, Fairway, Key Food, Raindew Family Center, Rainbow, Save A Lot, Shoprite, TJ Maxx, Zabars, A&P, Winn Dixie, Bi-Lo, Waldbaum’s, Mariano’s, NY Times, CNBC, etc. They are also available online at and

Swap out Sugary Sports Drinks with K+ Organics

With the school year beginning, it’s hard to control what your kids are putting into their body. With K+ Organics, there is nothing to worry about. Savannah James (wife of LeBron James) and Velana Colon partnered to ensure parents have a better choice keeping their young athlete’s health top of mind. This is a hit with my family too!

K+ Organics is full of vitamins, electrolytes, natural ingredients and low in sugar. Available in four delicious flavors, Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Lime and Orange, each drink will keep kids, ages 5 and up, hydrated on and off the field. Now available in 10 oz bottle sizes, perfect for the kid with the super busy schedule.

Price: $26.99 per 12 pack

Where to Buy:

It’s that busy time of the year with school, soccer practice and so much more! So, what is an easy healthy option for weekday dinners?

Ancient Harvest’s POW! Pastas are sure to be a hit with your family! They don’t have fake ingredients and also provide the market’s first legume-and-quinoa noodles. With up to 25 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber per 3.5 serving, the POW! lineup includes eight family-friendly options.

Four POW! Pasta shapes – Green Lentil Penne, Red Lentil Rotini, Green Lentil Spaghetti and Red Lentil Linguini – each made with just two or three whole-food ingredients with no fillers, stabilizers, gums or added sodium. They’re also gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher, vegan, and lower in sugar than most competitive brands. (MSRP $2.99)

Three POW! Mac & Cheese varieties – Mild Cheddar Elbows, Sharp Cheddar Shells and White Cheddar Shells – with cheesy, gluten-free, red lentil and quinoa noodles that even the pickiest eaters will love. All three SKUs have less sodium, fat and sugar content than most other non-wheat mac and cheese products and are made from non-GMO and organic ingredients including organic quinoa and cheese. (MSRP $2.99)

I really like to make these and add veggies such as broccoli!

Looking for another drink for the family that is not loaded with sugars? Former Olympic medalist invents fizzique – The World’s First Sparkling Protein Water!

Fizzique Sparkling Protein Waters in Tropical Limon and Strawberry Watermelon flavors, are not your typical flavored sparkling waters.  These come with protein benefits.  The first sparkling protein water launched in 2017 and contains 20g protein, zero sugar and only 80 calories.  It is a product that all fitness influencers and gyms are getting behind.

Bye-bye thick, milk shakes.  Bye-bye shaker cup.  Hello healthy bubbles!

Created by David Jenkins, a former U.K. Olympic medalist in track and field, he wanted to bring a product to the protein drink category which had lacked innovation for the past 20 years.  David is a protein zealot and has been in the protein business since 1988 when he founded NEXT Proteins, Inc.  Through NEXT Proteins, he launched the first commercialized, instantized whey protein powder (Designer Whey®) and the first triple-layer protein bar that tasted like a candy bar (Detour®).  “After two innovations in protein that were eventually copied by competitors, I knew I needed to develop protein innovation that was patent protected.  Enter my love of sparkling water and finally, I could combine it with protein.  It took years to perfect, but fizzique Sparkling Protein Waters rank up there with the buzz of medaling at the Olympics,” says David Jenkins.

Yes! Protein drinks have changed forever – one taste and you’ll know immediately.

Direct benefits include: fast muscle recovery after workouts, helping curb appetites and satisfy hunger between meals, and an anytime, high protein pick-me-up on the go.  fizzique also delivers an extra twist of natural energy with 45mg of natural caffeine per can.  They contain 4400mg of muscle-energizing BCAAs.

Current flavors include Strawberry Watermelon and Tropical Limon. The current SRP is $2.99.  fizzique is found online at and as well as in many retailers throughout the U.S. as well (please check out the store locator on


It is made from delicious fruits and real(pure) golden maple syrup – from Polaner, a food company that is over 100 years old. Their ingredients are so clean and simple:

Raspberry: raspberries; maple syrup; raspberry juice concentrate and fruit pectin.

Peach: peaches; maple syrup; peach juice concentrate, fruit pectin and citric acid ( natural preservative in the peach). I had the opportunity to try these and I love them on waffles, toast and crepes! I’m sure they would make a great spread on a sandwich with peanut butter too!

Here are a few that I just love! 

  1. Enjoy Life Foods Protein Bites (new) – to help kids fuel their days, these chocolatey plant-based protein bites are packed with 6g of protein per serving and are free-from 14 allergens. Two new flavors: Dark Raspberry and Dipped Banana.
  2. PROBAR LiveTM (new) – available in four delicious varieties, each bar features a clean ingredient panel packed with real nuts, seeds and dates for natural sweetness, and delivers 10 grams of plant-based protein and one billion CFUs (colony forming units) of probiotics with zero added sugar.
  3. bare Veggie Chips (new) – these crave-ably crunchy beet, carrot, and sweet potato chips are baked, never fried, and made with real vegetables and simple ingredients, sans oil!
  4. DRY Zero Sugar Organic Sodas (new) – kick sugar to the side with these sugar-free organic sodas. But don’t worry, they’re packed with bold flavors, including kid-friendly options like Mountain Berry and Island Fruit.
  5. Country Archer Meat Sticks – juicy grass-fed beef or antibiotic-free turkey sticks packed with 9g of protein per sticks. No sugar, preservatives or junky ingredients, just real – and really good – stuff here!
  6. Kettle Corn PopCorners – wholesome, popped chips that are never fried, but are a healthier alternative to greasy potato chips! Each chip boasts a delicious combo of sweet and salty that kids love.

The Pro Bar is my ultimate favorite! I often take them on the go with me to work!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples but only feature items that I recommend! I received many products but these are the ones that I really like! Images and information were also provided. Stay tuned! I am featuring more Back-to-School products next week! Happy Back-to-School!

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