Grocery store shelves are stocked with sugar laden, pre-packaged snacks covered in colorful images of recognizable cartoon characters.
More than we'd like, convenience (or, let's be honest, the whiney preschooler in the shopping cart!) wins, and as parents, we reach for these types of snacks.
We know that you desire to make healthy choices for yourchildren, and that you want to avoid all of the unknown additives, extra sugar, and wasteful packaging that comes along with those snack choices.
Be encouraged! You can make simple, healthy snacks that your kids will love and even want to help you make!
Here are four simple snack ideas to get you started...
CELERY STICKS & PEANUT BUTTER
Celery sticks may seem like a thing of the past or just a staple in soup recipes, but kids will love these crunchy green veggies when you combine them with sweet and salty peanut butter!
This snack is easy to prep and serve in an 8-ounce mason jar. Cover the bottom of the jar with peanut butter, chop celery sticks to fit and stick them straight up into the peanut butter.
Seal the jars and store them in the fridge until snack time. Kids will love double dipping and crunching on their celery, and you win because they are eating veggies!
Kids will have fun mixing and matching their favorite fruits and veggies to make a bright and colorful smoothie, and you can feel good about what they are taking in!
TIP: Before your fresh fruits and veggies are past due, cut them into small chunks, lay them on a pan on top of parchment paper and put them in the freezer for a few hours. When the chunks are partially frozen, throw them in a jar and store in the freezer. When you're ready to make a smoothie, grab a few chunks of your favorites and throw them in a blender.
Take a wander through the bulk aisle at your local grocery store and let your kids choose a few of their favorite dry goodies. When you get home, the kids can mix up their favorites to make their very own brand of trail mix. Help them stir and then fill a dozen or so 8-ounce mason jars. Seal and store the jars in the snack cupboard for a portable, easy to grab treat!
Here are a few combinations to get you started:
- Keep it simple: peanuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, chocolate chips
- Sweet & salty: pretzels, chocolate chips, peanuts, craisins, marshmallows
- Crunchy cracker mix: corn nuts, goldfish crackers, pretzels, corn chips
Popcorn is always at the top of the list for kids, but grocery store packaged options leave you wondering how many chemicals and calories are attached to those kernels. Not to mention, the wasteful packaging that comes with!
The good news is, making your own popcorn is super simple:
- Add 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels to a lunch size paper bag
- Fold top of bag over 2 or 3 times so no kernels escape
- Microwave for 1.5-2 mins (time depends on your microwave, but when you hear about 3 seconds between pops you should be set!)
- Add your own butter, salt, etc to taste
Snack time shouldn't be a battle of wills or guilt! It should be a fun time to connect with your kids and teach them the principals of healthy eating and that food prep can be fun!
We hope that these snack ideas will spark your imagination when the snack monster hits!