In an ideal world, we would sit down to healthy, leisurely snacks and meals with our kids whenever hunger strikes. And of course they would eat whatever we serve, with pleasure.
But as any mom knows, this scenario is a rarity even for the most motivated mamas! Busy schedules and on-the-go lifestyles mean that we all need some healthy foods that are appealing to kids and easy to eat when we’re away from home.
Below are some new portable snack ideas to add into your rotation. As always, feel free to alter them in any way to better suit your family’s tastes.
No Prep Snacks
- Freeze dried vegetables. Edamame, corn, peas, tomatoes, and more. Kids feel like they’re eating something new and different but these are literally just dried veggies.
- Cheese sticks. We all know string cheese, but Babybel rounds, Laughing Cow wedges, and cheddar cheese sticks or rectangles are slightly different twists on a longtime staple. Pair cheese with apple slices, berries, or whole grain crackers for a well-balanced snack that satisfies.
- Steamed edamame pods. Kids love pulling these beans out of the pods, so they’re kind of like an activity in addition to a snack. Sprinkle with a little seasoned salt for extra flavor.
- Siggi’s drinkable yogurt. Unlike most drinkable yogurts, Siggi’s are low in sugar and a good source of protein. Plus, it comes in cute little 4 oz. bottles that are perfectly portioned for tiny tummies.
- Kashi Soft Baked Cereal Bars. No bar is as healthy as real, whole foods. But these bars are lower in sugar and higher in fiber than other cereal bars, and soft enough for toddlers to eat, too.
- Flavored Roasted Nuts. Either make your own, or find some tasty flavored nuts in the bulk section of your grocery store. You can even make your own “trail mix” with these, plain popcorn, whole grain cereal, and a few chocolate chips or dried cranberries.
Low Prep Snacks
- Banana burritos. Simply spread any kind of nut butter on a whole wheat tortilla, top with sliced bananas and raisins, and roll up into a “banana burrito.”
- Steamed eggs with salsa and beans. Whisk an egg or two with some salsa and a few black beans in a mug or bowl. Microwave for about 2 minutes or until egg is cooked, then serve on toast or in a to-go mug if you’re running out the door.
- Cottage cheese with avocado and toasted almonds. If your kids don’t like the texture of cottage cheese, blend it in the food processor to make it smooth and creamy. For kids who like spice, sprinkle a few chili flakes or some turmeric on top.
- Corn on the cob. This is more of a summer snack, but corn can quickly be microwaved, slathered with a little butter, and taken on a to-go plate.
- Mason jar parfaits. When you have the time, have your kids layer yogurt, fruit, and nuts or granola in a mason jar with a lid (make one for yourself, too!). Stick these in the fridge and let each person grab their parfait when they’re hungry and in a hurry.
Having trouble getting your kids to try this stuff? Ask them to help you make it. Kids who help select and prepare their food are more likely to eat it. Plus, it makes food more fun!
Guest post by: Amelia Winslow is a nutritionist, self-taught chef, and busy mom who believes healthy eating should be easy and enjoyable, not stressful or overwhelming. That’s why she started Eating Made Easy, a trusted resource for all your food & nutrition questions plus practical tips to make healthy eating easier. Whenever you feel confused about the latest fad diet or food trend, or need help figuring out what to buy or eat, head on over to Eating Made Easy to get Amelia’s reliable, science-based advice.
Check out Eating Made Easy HERE.