Inside: A guide to creating healthy and fun snacks your kids actually eat…and totally love!
It’s 9:30 a.m. on a Wednesday and I’m feeling accomplished. I’m placing the last breakfast plate into the dishwasher and wiping down the breakfast table when it happens. It took just three little words to bring me back down to reality.
Uh-oh. I had worked so hard at planning breakfast, lunch, and dinner but somehow completely forgot about the other two important meals of the day. And-depending on who you ask, say…my kids for instance, morning and afternoon snack time
I hear the swift pitter-pat of little toddler feet racing towards the pantry and I feel my heart rate quicken as I scan the kitchen. An apple sliced and peeled? A peanut butter and banana sandwich?
I see my son’s swift little hands rummaging through the pantry, settling on Goldfish crackers. Quick as a flash, the tiny fish are out of the bag and en route to his chubby little cheeks. A wry smile comes over his chubby little face. He looks satisfied, but me? I feel defeated. Again.
Crackers? Sure, they’re great on-the-go, or for as part of a balanced snack. But I can’t help but feel this was a #momfail. A missed opportunity to get something nutritious into my kids’ growing little bodies, and that makes me…well…sad.
Time to deal with this problem once and for all. Obviously, this snack time thing is going to happen every day. Twice a day. How can get proactive I take these snack time wars and turn them into a #win each and every day?
As with anything in life, I’m realizing that being proactive with snack time is more than half the battle.
So what is it that all kids go crazy over—and why? And then it hit me. I can’t seem to pass Lunchables at the grocery store without my kids going crazy over them. They’re a throwback to my childhood too. Okay, done. Thanks for reading!
Lunchables hardly check the boxes I’m looking to fill from a health persepctive. BUT they do package a mediocre tasting product into a fun little package. And let’s face it. Kids? They buy fun. (Happy Meal, anyone?).
Thanks to the wonders of Amazon, I found some fun AND functional containers that offer up the Lunchable feel using only tasty, healthy options that are customized to my kids’ tastes.
Added bonus? These are GREAT for grown-ups too! Because let’s face it–we still love the Lunchable concept too. (Starbucks Bento Box, anyone???).
I love to prep them ahead of time so I am ready and waiting for those three little words.
If you feel my snack time pain and are totally ready to take your snack time from a boring “have to” to a golden opportunity for quick #momwins with healthy, happy kids—check out my list of snack time solutions.
Better yet—subscribe to gain exclusive access to the printable Snack Time Survival Guide, three pretty, printables that give you everything you need to #win at snack time.
Easy, healthy snacks kids will love
When it comes to healthy snacking, quality can be key. When you buy organic, non-GMO, free-range or cage-free and grass-fed/grass-finished options, you are investing in the health of you and your family for the long-term. I’ve found I spend more on healthy options but less on processed junk that does nothing for my family’s health.
Thanks to some awesome online companies, having healthy foods on-hand all the time is so easy. A few of my favorites are Butcherbox (affiliate link), for delicious, quality meat (grass-finished) and Thrive Market for my pantry staples…things like nuts, nut
- Banana or apple slices topped with nut butter. When it comes to nut butter, there is such a wonderful assortment available. Almond, Cashew, Peanut, Walnut, or my personal favorite—sunflower seed butter!
- Multi-grain crackers and cheese. If you’re a gluten-free or gluten-aware household, there are plenty of great gluten-free cracker options available as well.
- Veggies with hummus. Store-bought hummus is fine, but home-made is delicious and pretty easy to make!
- Veggies with ranch dressing. Opt for the dressing you find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store to find the healthiest and least processed options.
- Celery with nut butter or cream cheese.
- Berries and Greek yogurt. Opt for yogurt from grass-fed cows for your healthiest option. Plain offers the best low-sugar yogurt choice. If one of your children or yourself has a dairy intolerance, check out the delicious dairy-free coconut yogurt options too!
- Apple slices paired with cheese (string cheese, cheddar cheese cubes, etc)
- Rice cake with nut butter. Add bananas for a little something extra! Rice cakes are naturally gluten-free, making this a perfect option for households watching their gluten intake.
- Olives and cheese. If you or your kids tend to go for the saltier snacks, this is the perfect snack!
- Chicken, tuna or egg salad on crackers. Multi-grain or gluten-free crackers make this a perfect choice for everyone. Take your chicken, tuna or egg salad one step healthier by using avocado mayo. I tried this in my house and even my skeptical husband loved it.
- Finger sandwiches. There are so many fun options here! Peanut butter and banana. Chicken, egg, or tuna salad. Turkey or ham…etc. Change it up with mini-pita pockets!
- Berries and almonds. If your kids are old enough to eat nuts, this is a great go-to snack. Berries provide the sweet and nuts provide the crunchy and a little bit of salty.
- Cottage cheese and fruit. Some of our personal favorites are Dole mandarin oranges or pineapple chunks, juice drained.
- Turkey or ham roll-ups (deli meat rolled up). This is so simple and kids love it. Simply take a piece of deli meat and roll it up! Add a little hummus or cream cheese to give it extra flavor.
- Quesadillas. It’s always a good idea to have some flour or corn tortillas on-hand. Add shredded cheese and some chopped chicken or black beans and a little salsa or guac on the side. Corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free.
- Unsweetened apple sauce and cheese. Another great salty/sweet combo that kids love.
- Oatmeal. Oatmeal doesn’t just have to be for breakfast! Check out my post, Easy Freezer Breakfast: Steelcut Oatmeal to learn how to create convenient, single-serve portions of this American favorite. Add a little bit of almond milk, berries and walnuts for staying power.
- Trail mix. Buy a healthy, pre-made mix from Trader Joes, Whole Foods or even Costco—or buy your own nuts, dried fruit, and a sweet treat to create your own.
- Fruit smoothie blended with almond milk
- Blueberry pancakes. I like Kodiak Cakes because they are super easy to prepare, minimally processed and chock-full of healthy protein. We add blueberries to ours. I like to make an extra batch on the weekends when we’re making pancakes anyway—and freeze them for easy access during the week.
- English muffin pizzas. What kid doesn’t have a ton of fun making their own pizza? All you need is pizza sauce (keeps for a while, once opened, in the refrigerator), English muffins and mozzarella cheese.
- Avocado toast. Okay, in my house, this one is more for me than my kids—but it’s still worth putting on the list. ESPECIALLY if you’re one of the lucky ones who’s children like avocado! All you need is avocado mashed with a little bit of garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt and pepper, a piece of toast (whole-grain, gluten-free—whatever!). Add some extra protein with an egg on top (prepared hard-boiled & sliced or over-medium).
And, when you’re having so much fun, why stop there?! These snack ideas can easily be converted into lunches as well. Check out my post on How to Create Healthy Meals for On-the-Go—which offers more great info on ready-made lunches—plus, you can get the 411 on my favorite containers, and more.
Hopefully, I’ve provided you with a few great snack ideas that you and your children can truly get excited about! Be sure to download the Complete Healthy Snack Planning Guide from our Printables Resource Library. Sign up below to gain access to that, plus plenty of other helpful planning tools and printables!