So, I try my hardest to have my kids snack on healthy foods in the Summer. No, I don’t always succeed. BUT, I don’t think letting them have a sugary, unhealthy item every once in a while is awful. 🙂 We just do not make a habit of it. My kids get a “crap snack” about once a week (or even less often). I will admit, though, that lately I have fallen to just grabbing whatever I can find to feed them on the rough days. We have had some unexpectedly busy days, several in a row in fact, that really caught me off guard. I just grabbed cheese crackers or pretzels or whatever to feed my energetic and growing kiddos. And they didn’t die….so I guess a crap snack isn’t too bad when you’ve got nothing else! Ha!
Here are some of the easy snacks I either buy or bake to keep my growing kids from crying because they are starving in between meals…. (oh, and I have read the article about kids not needing snacks and just to feed three healthy meals and yada, yada, yada….BUT, I completely disagree. When it is 80 degrees and all the kids are running around outside for hours and hours, there is NO WAY they can make it between meals. I don’t buy it that kids stay full between meals. Especially if they are eating a lot of fruits and veggies….that does not keep them full! So, just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone was going to comment about kids not needing food between meals. I will just agree to disagree.)
For littler ones, I will slice the more difficult ones – apples, pears, nectarines, plums, and oranges. My older kids don’t mind getting a whole fruit to eat because they like to toss the pit/core/peel into the compost bin. 🙂 A new favorite for some of my kids is star fruit. It is sweet and juicy! I don’t know why we waited so long to try it. And my girls like that the slices are star-shaped!
A handful of grapes, blueberries or strawberries (with the reminder “don’t eat the green!”) are a quick, easy snack too! Bananas are super easy as well.
Ok, so not all of my kids would be happy to get raw veggies as a snack. BUT, for the kids who wouldn’t complain, I will cut up carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, or cucumbers. We make our own ranch(go HERE for my favorite ranch), so I don’t mind a huge pile of that on their plate with the veggies! We have also done an easy black bean dip (like a humus but without tahini).
Except for today (oh, what a morning!), I usually make almost double the amount of muffins we’ll need for breakfast. This allows me to offer muffins as a snack later in the day. I don’t have to make anything at snack time, I just open the container, they all take one and I shoo them out the door! I don’t care if they get crumbs all over the yard – the dog really appreciates it!
I only offer these for snack if they are homemade. And we usually only have homemade in the house. With having to watch for red #40 (which can be found in some chocolate items, I have found), it is much easier to just make our own cookies. Plus, seven people eating cookies means we need a ton of them! So, doubling recipes and keeping them on hand or in the freezer is perfect for us.
Homemade Trail Mix
I have two versions – one with nuts for older kids and one without nuts for my littlest guy (and my big girl that doesn’t like any nuts except the pricey cashews!). For the little kid mix, I toss some type of chex cereal (usually Aldi brand, unless there is a good deal elsewhere), raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, PB chips, Cheerios (or something comparable), and maybe some homemade granola all in a big storage bowl or bag.
The mix for the older kids varies. It can have any or all of these: dried cranberries, raisins, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, homemade granola, chocolate chips, PB chips, and anything else I find interesting to toss in. 🙂
So these are just some of the easy snacks we keep on hand. If I have a crazy week, I just make sure to have a box of Aldi’s cheese crackers on hand. 🙂