I don’t know about you, but I am constantly on the lookout for healthy easy snacks that my kids can help themselves to. Sure, we keep Goldfish and granola bars on hand and my mom provides a constant stream of Twizzlers (Ugh!), but I am talking about snacks that are tasty and nutritious and will encourage my kids to grab and go.
- Nuts – Luckily, neither of my kids have a nut allergy. Both of them like nuts and like to mix them up with other items liked dried fruit, to create their own trail mixes. We particularly like almonds. Hy-Vee has a great variety of almonds available. We really like the cocoa dusted almonds and raw almonds. My son also likes sunflower seeds. We buy them with the shell on and off. On for baseball, off mixed into a yogurt parfait.
- Cheese – For a while now, one of my grocery list staples has been cheese cubes and Mini Babybels. My daughter likes cheese and will grab a Babybel for an after school snack. Sometimes she will grab crackers to eat with it, other times, she just races out the door with the cheese. Since we go through so many of them, I try to buy them in bulk at Costco.
- Beef Jerky – Beef Jerky is a great on the go snack, but I find it can be a bit pricey and some brands have more additives than others. Both my son and husband love beef jerky and it’s a particularly good snack if you’re on the road or if you’ll be missing a meal or eating late. It’s a great protein boost to get you through to the next meal. We like the Krave brand of beef jerky that we purchase at Target or World Market.
- Fruit – Of course, we don’t all like the same thing, so I keep several different types of fruit on hand. I also try to keep it washed up and out on display. I find that if I leave it in a bowl on the dining table or in a basket in the kitchen it gets eaten faster and without as much encouragement. It’s also a good idea to keep some already sliced up. Both of my kids like apples, but it hurts their mouth to eat it whole. While I try to buy whole fruit and slice it myself, there are times I don’t have the energy and buy the pre-sliced apples. I know they’re more expensive, but it’s easier!
- Veggies – Like all parents, I feel like I struggle to get veggies into my kids. For snacks, I really don’t go too crazy with a wide variety of veggies. I stick to the tried and true; chubby carrots, pepper sticks, and believe it or not, my kids both like those mini cucumbers. Not sure these would be considered veggies, and yes they’re a bit on the salty side, but my kids both like pickles and black olives, so we keep those around too.
- Carbs – My kids are both carbaholics (and so am I), so I try not to keep the truly unhealthy addicting ones around. (I am talking about you Cheetos and Pringles!) As stated above, we keep whole wheat Goldfish, pretzels, and tortilla chips on hand. We really like the Donkey Kick tortilla chips from Whole Foods. Kids do need carbohydrates, but it’s a constant battle of showing them and reminding what a serving size looks like.
- Popcorn – We love, love, love our popcorn! We buy microwave popcorn, which the kids can make themselves. We also buy it already popped in one of those big bags and in single serving sizes. Popcorn is such a great healthy snack, as long, as you don’t overload it with butter and salt. And it really feels like you’re eating a treat or indulging a bit.
- Dried Fruit – We buy a variety of dried fruits. Our favorites are cranberries and cherries. Again, you need to watch the serving sizes, as there can be a lot of added sugar in dried fruit. I find that dried fruit is a good substitute to those fruit snacks, which are basically gummy candy in disguise. We eat dried fruit plain or mixed in to trail mix and oatmeal.
- Yogurt – Everyone in our fam likes yogurt. We eat it for breakfast and as a snack. We typically buy Chobani Greek Yogurt and try to watch the sugar. We also buy plain or vanilla flavored yogurt so we can make parfaits and smoothies with other ingredients on this list.
- Nut Spreads – We are peanut butter and Nutella junkies. We of course eat it on toast, but my daughter loves making “Ants on a Log”. I think she got the idea from the Disney Channel, but she has really been into making them lately. She slathers peanut butter on celery sticks and then puts dried cranberries or raisins on top.
What are your favorite grab and go snacks for your kids?