Just like breakfast, lunch, and dinner, snack time rolls around every day. As parents, we want to give our kids a snack that is readily available, satisfies their hunger, and is made with wholesome ingredients. But for many of us it's an afterthought.
As a working mom of three, I have quickly learned that preparation is key for everything, food included. No matter how well-intentioned I am in my thoughts about meals or snacks for myself and my kids, if I do not set aside time for preparation it's all too easy to just grab some junk food.
That changes today! These power snack ideas are easy, fun, and wholesome. Now your kids will have a snack with a nutritious purpose.
- Protein Rich Snack: For a protein-rich snack, I love Greek yogurt + almond butter + a drizzle of maple syrup. This combination tastes like cookie dough, thus earning the title "cookie dough dip" at our house.
- Fruity Snack: I love skewering fruit on a stick, like these Banana Split Bites. The chocolate is optional, and I can make them ahead of time and have them ready in the fridge.
On that note, it's a good idea to wash and dry fruits when you get home from the grocery store. Contrary to popular belief, you can wash strawberries ahead of time. Not only will they last longer, but you will have fresh fruits ready to be eaten, making them even more convenient.
I also like making my own fruit salad cups. All you have to do is make a big fruit salad and divide it into lidded containers. For a cooler treat, freeze the fruit salad into popsicle molds!
- Veggie Snack: For an easy (and portable!) snack, try making veggie cups. All you have to do is fill the bottom of a container with your favorite dip or dressing and place veggies vertically inside. You can make this a day ahead. Substitute hummus for the dip for an even more nutrition-rich snack.
- High Fiber Snack: My go-to high fiber snacks don't require much cooking. Fruits like pears, plums, kiwis, and watermelon are great options.
A green smoothie with a dried plum (to naturally sweeten) and added chia seeds is a terrific high-fiber option. Unlike juices, smoothies contain all of a fruit or vegetable's pulp making them a better nutritional option.
- Get four secrets for better smoothies
- Good-for-you Fats Snack: Nuts and nut butters are made up of healthy fats, which kids need for growth and development, as well as for heart health. Eating some "good" fat as a snack gives the body a burst of energy to keep going. For a nut-free option, try sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Find more recipes for delicious healthy snack
Laura Fuentes is the founder of MOMables where she helps parents make fresh school lunches and meals their kids will love. She's the author of The Best Homemade Kids' Snacks on the Planet and The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet. Download a free week of Laura's Classic and Grain Free Meal Plans here.
Healthy Snacks: Why Kids Need to Snack
Girl snacking via Shutterstock
Snack images courtesy of Laura Fuentes