Now that summer is here, you're likely prepping a lot more snacks—whether you're home with kids all day, packing bags for day camp, or loading up for a road trip. If you're looking for new ideas, here are 15 that will fill kids' bellies and provide tons of good nutrition between meals:
1. Fro-Yo Bark
Spread a layer of yogurt onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Top with sliced strawberries or mini chocolate chips. Freeze until firm, then crack into pieces. Eat quickly; the bark melts fast!
2. Pesto Roll-Ups
Spread pesto (homemade or store-bought) on a whole wheat tortilla. Top with a slice of deli turkey and a slice of cheese. Roll up and cut into slices (spear slices with a toothpick to hold them together).
3. Veggie Tray
At the beginning of the week, wash and chop a bunch of fresh veggies, arrange them on a plate with dip, then pull it out of the fridge at the first sign of "I'm hungry" whining.
4. All-Fruit Popsicles
Fill a popsicle mold (or small paper cup) with sliced fruit and berries, fill with coconut water (sweeten it with a bit of honey or maple syrup), insert stick, and freeze until firm.
5. Watermelon on a Stick
Slice watermelon into wedges and slide a popsicle stick into the rind.
6. Caprese Kebabs
Thread cherry tomatos, chunks of mozzarella, and basil leaves onto a skewer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
7. Banana "Ice Cream"
Freeze peeled, sliced banana chunks, then whirl in a food processor or blender until it becomes the texture of ice cream. Add in other kinds of frozen fruit (like blueberries or pineapple) for extra flavor and color, or a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter.
8. Muffin Tin Munchies
Fill each compartment of a muffin tin with a different food, like blueberries, plain "o" cereal, snap peas, cheese cubes, dip, and crackers.
9. Frozen Kiwi
Peel a kiwi and slice into rounds. Slide a popsicle stick into one end and freeze on a parchment-covered plate until frozen.
10. Hummus Cups
Place a few tablespoons of hummus (or other dip) at the bottom of a small cup, then stand up raw veggie sticks like carrots, cucumbers, and peppers in the hummus.
11. DIY Yogurt Tubes
Get disposable or reusable popsicle pouches (like these) and fill with a mix of half plain/half flavored yogurt (an easy way to cut sugar!) and some mashed fruit. Stash in the fridge or freeze into pops.
12. Frozen Grapes
Remove grapes from the stem, rinse, and pat dry. Place in a freezer-safe ziptop bag and lay flat in your freezer until firm (cut grapes into halves or quarters for children under four years of age).
13. Homemade Muffins & Bars
14. Apple Nachos
Slice apples and arrange on a plate. Heat a dish of natural peanut butter until melty, then drizzle over apples. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips or shredded coconut.
15. Snack Platter
When a bunch of random, healthy food is arranged on a plate, it suddenly looks appealing! Here are three ideas for kids who need more veggies, more protein, or more fruit.
Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, educator, and mom of two who blogs at Real Mom Nutrition. She is the author of The Snacktivist's Handbook: How to Change the Junk Food Snack Culture at School, in Sports, and at Camp—and Raise Healthier Snackers at Home. She also collaborated with Cooking Light on Dinnertime Survival Guide, a cookbook for busy families. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. In her spare time, she loads and unloads the dishwasher. Then loads it again.