Sometimes at my house, I feel like my children eat nonstop between breakfast and dinner. Finding healthy and filling quick eats can be challenging. When I need a go-to option, I choose from one of the following easy snacks for kids.
Pack reusable bags with apple slices and cheese cubes (Gouda and cheddar are our favorites). This versatile option limits messes in the car when we’re out running errands after school.
Boil eggs on gas ranges for a protein-packed snack. My children enjoy them with a sprinkle of pepper, paprika or salt. They also love mashing the yolks for deviled eggs, which are saved for special treats. We’ll pair a boiled egg with veggies like sliced cucumbers, carrot discs or cauliflower florets. I like being able to prep the veggies on Sunday in preparation for our busy week. The kids can just grab baggies out of the fridge when they’re hungry, and I know they’re eating something healthy.
The kids also like tuna salad with crackers or veggies. If tuna does not appeal to your kids, substitute fresh or canned chicken. You can add healthy fillers like diced celery, grape tomatoes or bell peppers.
Serve salt-free tortilla chips or pretzels with salsa. You can make your own salsa to cut down on the preservatives found in store-bought brands. My kids don’t like cilantro or foods that are too hot, so I usually modify spicier recipes when I make it. Sometimes we switch things up and add some black beans or serve avocado slices on the side.
I like getting the kids involved in making their own healthy snacks, so we’ll gather in the kitchen and make our own trail mix. We add dried cranberries or raisins to raw almonds and peanuts, and I’ll throw in some M&M’s once in a while. The best thing about homemade mix is being able to switch up the ingredients whenever the kids get bored.
My children love to make Ants on a Log(even though my daughter would rather decorate celery than eat it). Sometimes my son likes to substitute unsalted peanuts for his ‘ants.’ We’ve also sprinkled shredded coconut on top to make Snow on a Log.
On the weekend, usually when we’re getting ready to watch a movie or play a game, we like to toss hot popcorn with cinnamon, garlic powder, a sprinkle of Butter Buds or curry powder. Keep things healthier by avoiding store-bought bags.
Yogurt is a favorite around our house. I use plain yogurt most often, but the kids also like vanilla, blueberry and raspberry. Serve with bananas, strawberries, peach slices or your favorite fruit. It’s something the kids have eaten since they were little and a pretty popular quick fix for hunger, even though they’re fully aware it’s not their preferred treat, ice cream.
Give your children a choice of ingredients and let them create snack combinations that appeal to them. With confidence, you can supply healthy foods that satisfy hungry tummies between every meal, any day of the week.
This is a guest post from Holly Watson. She is a stay-at-home mother who enjoys traveling, writing on behalf of Sears and other great brands and running on her treadmill. Read more of her work at Eat Breathe Blog.
Amy Barseghian is the Founder of The Best of Life Magazine, featuring the best in travel, technology, fitness, food, parenting and lifestyle. She is also the CEO of Social Halo Media and a freelance writer at LifeStyle Traveling Mom, SheBuysCars, Android Life Magazine, and Land O'Lakes corporate.