Banana Bar

Now itz official – itz summer vacation!  For the last day of school, I wanted to do something special and fun for my kiddos.  Usually I make them little goodie bags, but this year they couldn’t bring backpacks on the bus to or from school, so I needed to get creative.  I think it worked out better anyway because I give them enough goodie-bag-like-junk during the year.  Well you all know how much I like creating bars at school, so I went with that and decided to make a banana bar.

I told my students that we would be baking banana splits, just healthier versions since there would be no ice cream.  Granted, with all the toppings I provided, I’m not sure how much healthier they ended up being.  I gave each student half of a banana and then cut it long ways.  Their topping options were strawberry or vanilla yogurt, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, marshmallows, sunflower seeds, chocolate syrup, and, of course, sprinkles.

I was very curious as to if my students would like this idea, think it was fun/cool, or totally be like, “A banana, what?”  But they loved it!  They loved being able to choose their toppings and dress their bananas with yummy goodness!

My toppings included strawberry yogurt, coconut, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, and sprinkles.  Very tasty, indeed.  I’m teaching a summer school class this year called Active Living + Healthy Eating = Happy Kids.  There is going to be yoga, nutrition, and fitness all mixed in and the class is open to first through fourth graders.  I have two sections of about 20 students each, and each class lasts two hours.  I’m designing the class myself and I’m very excited about it.

I get to roll all my passions into one: kids, nutrition, and fitness!  Yoga is not exactly a passion of mine, but I do like it in small doses.  I am hoping to make a healthy snack with my kids once a week.  (Summer school is just four short weeks.)  I’m not sure if I will have any peanut allergies, but they are pretty prevalent, so I’m anticipating having some.  With that being said, do you have any ideas for what I could make as a healthy snack?  It needs to be easy (no baking or cooking) and fairly inexpensive (40 kids total).

When teaching about healthy fats, I was thinking of doing something with sunflower seed butter since it’s not a nut, and I do believe it would be fine to serve, even for kids who have nut allergies.  Plus, I don’t think a lot of kids have tasted sunflower seed butter, so I’m hoping to introduce them to some new foods.  Last night, a bunch of teachers went out to celebrate the beginning of summer.  We missed our Pinkalicious, but we still had a good time.

Not a bad pic late night and some random person using my iPhone to take the picture!  The fountain and lights in the background make up for some of the blurriness, right?  I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it again: I love my school and I love the team of teachers I teach with (not just the ones in the pic).  I’m so lucky.

What are some ideas I could use for healthy snacks during summer school?

27 thoughts on “Banana Bar

  1. I bet pinterest would be a GOLDMINE for some healthy snacks. Maybe try the rainbow fruit kebabs (sticks + different color fruits = RAINBOW OF TASTY!) You could even add marshmallow on the end as “clouds”.

  2. That’s exactly what I’m craving for dessert tonight! What a great idea. As far as snacks for summer school I would involve fresh fruit and you could cut them up so you can make faces on paper plates with the different slices? Just an idea. Happy Summer!

  3. I am SO glad YOU get to teach that class!! The kids will love it and learn so much!! That is seriously so awesome :)

    Some ideas could be: worms in dirt (use yogurt + cocoa powder), fruit kebabs, mini fruit pizzas made with whole wheat pitas, pumpkin pancakes (teaching them to use veggies), carrot muffins, oats+almond balls, smoothies (?), veggie sticks + hummus, ants on a log with a twist: celery + AB + craisins (no peanuts!), or healthy banana cookies. I’d check out Pinterest for more ideas.

    YAY for SUmmer vacay!!

    • these are GREAT suggestions!! if i do have a peanut allergy i have to stay away from all nuts though…. but lots of good ideas here thanks girl!!

  4. That banana bar is the best idea ever! I wish I had a teacher like you when I was in elementary school! ;)

    Some snack ideas that I can think of are: mini pizzas on half English muffins, yogurt parfaits, hummus and veggies, apple slices and yogurt dip, or cheese and crackers!

  5. You are an awesome teacher! You could do a make your own trail mix… pretzels, nuts if no allergies, cereal, craisins, other dried fruits, marshmallows, m&ms, etc.

    • Love the idea of trail mix! Kids would love to pick and choose what went into their own individual bag, too! Great idea – thanks!

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  7. I am a new follower to your blog…working on being healthy and you are an awesome inspiration! I wish I could take your class and I am WAY to old for 4th grade! lol Ever think about teaching an adult health living/nutrition class?

    My kids 2 and 4 love anything on a stick…that they can dip.
    You could do pretzel rods with cream cheese and dip into goldfish crackers…gone fishing?

    Celery with ants on a log…if peanut butter allergy maybe use hummus or cream cheese…ants=raisins.

    Roll ups? Turkey or ham with some cheese or apples?

    Small plastic cup with hummus or dip in bottom…put veggies sticks into it (standing up) got my boys to try jicima (sp?) by cutting it into sticks and setting it up in dip inside a cup with carrot sticks and cucumber sticks…thought it was great!

    Check out Disney website and Pinterest…TONS of ideas there!

    Thanks for all the great content! I live just west of St. Louis grew up in West county…is that Creve Couer park?

    • These are GREAT ideas! Thank you so much! Yes, it was Creve Couer park :) Do you still live in St. Louis? Best of luck to you and your newly healthy living lifestyle! I haven’t considered teaching adults a class like that since I don’t have any technical credentials (not an RD, nutritionist, personal trainer, etc.), but for kids I can do a very basic nutrition course on things that I am certain about… I will def be posting different points of the lessons on here though, so stay tuned! :)

  8. HOW awesome that you promote healthy snacks to your students- and that you’re teaching that summer class! I’m so jealous- we don’t have anything like that around here! I’ve been a teacher for 7 years and it sickens and saddens me how little we focus on getting kids to be healthy. I’m pretty much the only teacher in my school that doesn’t use junk food as a reward!
    Sorry for the rant. :) Annette told me about your blog because she said that you work out in your classroom- so do I! I’ve done yoga in it all year, but just started doing my bootcamp workouts too! It’s so nice and quiet at the end of the day. I love it!

    • Thanks, Lauren! I understand your frustration… My district is considered to serve “healty meals” simply because they have a salad bar and some fruit available yet they still serve pizza TWICE every, single week. What do you think kids will choose?? Where and what grade do you teach? Have you gotten any coworkers to workout with you after school? A few of my teammates sometimes stay after for workouts and it’s a really fun way to workout and bond!!

      • I teach high school- in Maryland. I have had zumba and kickboxing instructors come in to teach classes to teachers after school, and it starts off well, but then a few weeks in, no one comes anymore. Everyone makes excuses! After three years of trying, I’m giving up (I also resigned from teaching, and this is my last year- I’m going to be a personal trainer!)

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