Snack Time!

Happy Tuesday readers!

Wow--I had such a good first day back yesterday.  Reconnecting with all the kids and a regular routine was just what I've needed.  I also had a particularly magical moment that I want to share with you and is the inspiration for this post.  It's a lengthy post, but one that I think is worth the read.

If I haven't mentioned it before, the school I am student teaching in is a Title I school, which means that 50% or more of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch. It has been an incredible experience and so inspiring to see a school system that rises to all its challenges and overcomes them valiantly.

Being in a school like this, though, can be heartbreaking at times.  There are kids with backgrounds that will break your heart.  One of the little boys I have especially bonded with is one of those kids.  This little boy, which I'll refer to as N, has the brightest smile, is incredibly smart, and also well behaved and very kindhearted.  He is also very poor.

During snack time, he has been the only student in our class to not have a snack.  On a few occasions he has complained that he is hungry and has also told me that he didn't have breakfast that day.  My teacher doesn't typically provide students with snacks, though, because in the past when she has done that, inevitably, students who can afford snack stop bringing it to receive it for free from the teacher.  I have been picking my brain trying to think of a way I can help N.  Today, I had an "aha!" moment.

As I was watching him sit, snack-less, as the students around him enjoyed their snacks, I finally came up with a plan!  The students place their backpacks in assigned cubbies.  I realized that in the mornings before students arrive, I could simply put a snack in N's cubby, that he could get at snack time.  I checked with my teacher to make sure she was okay with this and she said that it would be fine as long as I'm discreet.

At the end of the day, as the students were packing up, I called N over to speak with him.  I asked him to show me his cubby and explained that from now on, I'm going to put a snack in the cubby in the mornings before anyone gets to school.  I told him that it would be our "special secret" and that he could just act like he was getting it from his backpack, brought from home, like the rest of the class.

Seeing N's smiles and the gleam in his eyes as I told him this was a monumental moment that I know I will remember years from now.  He gave me a tight hug and it was all I could do not to cry.

I know that as a future teacher, I won't ever save the world, but having the ability to change the lives of just a small amount of kids, makes it all worthwhile.

That being said, I now want to make sure I can give N really great snacks that he not only will like, but will also be somewhat nutritious.

Here is what I'm thinking...

I still pack parmesan goldfish in my lunch almost every day!

These are not only delicious, but also provide some protein!

Cheese usually fills me up and would hopefully keep him full throughout the day.

I know fresh fruit can get expensive, so he might not be getting much of it at home.

What are your favorite healthy snacks?  What type of healthy, kid-friendly snacks do you mamas out there recommend?

Have a great day!