With schools set to reopen for the vast majority of children in England and Wales on 8 March, and Scotland following shortly after, packed lunches are very much back on the to-do list for families. It’s never been more important for children to enjoy healthy snacks for energy and focus during the busy school day.
Right now, packed lunches are likely to be an even more popular option as a number of schools have yet to restart their meal services.
Enter apples, the ultimate, healthy snacking choice for children of all ages. Requiring little to no preparation and no packaging, they are robust enough to stand up to a morning in the school bag and also make an ideal after-school snack to keep little ones going until the evening meal. This versatile fruit is understandably a back-to-school staple. And, with British apples available almost all year round, you can also do your bit for the planet by choosing the lower food mile, local fruit option.
The humble British apple is often overlooked as a healthy snack choice, but the old saying of ‘an apple a day’ is more relevant than ever. Apples provide an abundance of health benefits. As a rich source of fibre (known as pectin), snacking on an apple offers a slow release of energy to keep us feeling fuller later into the day and helping to avoid that spike in blood sugar levels that comes from sugary alternatives.
What’s more, apples are lower in calories than many snacks like the usual crisps and cereal bars – just 77 kcal/serving for an apple compared to 150 kcal/serving for many cereal bars.
Apples are also full of vital vitamins, minerals and a wide variety of phytochemicals and are notably rich in polyphenols – compounds with antioxidant and other health promoting properties. Made up of 86% water, apples provide a natural source of hydration to keep us feeling refreshed all day long.
And with no need to peel the fruit, there are so many health and nutritional benefits to eating the whole apple. To get the most out of apples, it’s important to leave the skin on as it contains fibre and many of the polyphenols.
Readily available all year round, with an array of different varieties on offer, it’s easy to keep a British apple within arm’s reach for a mid-morning snack, lunchtime fuel or for an after-school energy dip.
Simply swap out those sugar-laden snacks and buy delicious, crisp British apples. Apples truly are the go-to school snack for children to munch on throughout the day!