Being a parent has enough challenges and making sure your children are eating nutritionally-dense snacks doesn’t have to be one. A common misconception is that food has to be either complicated or unhealthy. There are plenty of healthy, simple and fun ideas that will keep your kids happy and won’t kill your time or budget!
One of the key elements is having access to well-sourced fruits and vegetables. I personally love farmers’ markets (this can be a fun family outing and educational for the children, as well as parents) and organic food delivery services like Greenling and Farmhouse Delivery. Remember, local and organic are always preferred, but not always essential. If you’re concerned about which foods should always be organic, I encourage you to view the guide on the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen.
It is also helpful to have appropriate storage containers. In my experience, it is worth investing in decent quality storage containers that are large enough to prep snacks in advance and small enough to portion single sizes for trips and school. Life Factory and Lap Top Lunches are great options. They are a little pricey up front, but after going through so many of the cheaper ones, they feel like a worthwhile investment. Life Factory also makes great, kid-friendly, glass water bottles. Being a parent, I know that glass and kid-friendly seem like an oxymoron, but the glass bottles are covered in silicon and my 10 year old son has yet to be able to destroy his. This is an easy way to encourage kids to drink more water without worrying about chemicals leaching from containers or germs lurking in the drinking fountain.
Now that you have all your supplies, it shouldn’t take more then a few minutes to put it all together. Here are a few quick and easy snacks that will keep them growing and you worrying less!
As the name implies, this a great energy boost so use with caution. I like to have these on hand for parks, hikes or swimming trips.
- 1 cup granola (I like Dad’s Granola)
- ¼ cup honey (I like Austin Honey Co., but local is definitely preferred)
- 1/8 cup Goji berries
- 1/8 cup Hemp seeds
- ½ cup nut butter (I like Justin’s honey almond, peanut butter works as well)
- 4 tbsps Coconut Oil
- 1/8 cup Love Bean Fudge (optional)
Combine all ingredients then portion out 1 teaspoon at a time, roll into balls, and place in refrigerator to firm up. Three are considered a serving size.
Fruit and Cheese Pinwheels
Any fruit and any cheese will do, so have fun experimenting!
- 1 tortilla of preference (I like Must B Nutty‘s paleo almond tortillas)
- Place a layer of thin sliced or soft cheese (Brie is a yummy option)
- Cover cheese with either berries or thin-sliced apples or pears
- Roll tortilla and slice off ends
- Cut into ½-1 inch slices
Hollow Veggie Cup
Make veggies fun and easy with a quick to make edible cup.
- Cut the top off a bell pepper and remove the seeds.
- Use the cup for hummus, yogurt dip, or even water
- Add a side of carrots, celery, or chips for a fun and well rounded snack
If you just have a couple of minutes to spare, here are a few simpler snacks to prepare! Justin’s makes individual packets of almond and peanut butter and Love Bean Fudge just came out with single servings of spreadable chocolate that uses only coconut palm sugar and coconut nectar (sweet snack with no sugar rush!). Both pair up well with rice cakes, apples, bananas, blueberries, etc. Try filling a plastic baggie with apples or pear slices, a teaspoon of cinnamon and whatever other spices you and your little one would like. Toss and enjoy!
by Nicole Pinedo, Certified Drugless Practitioner. Nicole is available for consultation at Peoples Central.