One of the most demanding facets of motherhood is finding healthy snacks for your kids. While I was raised on Little Debbie, it’s important to me that my kids have healthier snack options. I scoured the stores trying to find snacks that were actually healthy, and that my kids would eat. I wanted to avoid the sugar, chemicals, and nasty food coloring, so I opted for DIY healthy snacks instead. Here are a few of my favorites:
A simple granola recipe is two cups of oats, one-half to one cup of liquid binder such as honey, unsweetened nut butter, or pure maple syrup, two tablespoons of butter or coconut oil, and one half a cup of nuts. Spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes. You could add something fun like chocolate chips or dried fruit, but that will increase the sugar content.
Smoothies are always a great option for kids. You can find organic yogurt at any grocery store. If you’re dairy free, you may need to hit Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s to find an alternative. In a blender cup, use two ounces yogurt, ice cubes, vanilla extract, and your favorite flavorings. I highly recommend strawberries and spinach, and my son swears by banana and carob chips. You could add a scoop of protein powder if needed.
One of the easiest DIY healthy snacks to make. On a cookie sheet, spread a thin layer of plain yogurt. Drop bite sized pieces of your kids’ favorite fruit throughout. Freeze, and then break into pieces. Keep frozen for a cool summer treat.
Zucchini, kale, or carrots can be sliced thinly using a mandoline slicer. Bake at a low heat until firm.
Veggies and Dip
One of the classic DIY healthy snacks. Chunk up some favorite vegetables, and include some guacamole, salsa, or pesto sauce for dipping!
Apples and Nut Butter
Core and slice apples, and add sugar-free nut butter. Top with raisins for an apple “cookie.”
Unless you’re on a specific diet, you can’t go wrong with fresh fruit. I visit the market every few days and buy just a few pieces of fruit so that nothing goes bad. If you want to know which Fruit are best for our nutrition, check here the article about SUPERFRUITS
On The Road and for Lunch
Our family spends a lot of time on the road, so portable snacks are important to us. For days when I know we will be traveling, I make sure to stock up on snacks that can be eaten out of hand without making too much of a mess. Grapes, cantaloupe, and veggie chips are easy to transport and make clean up pretty easy. I pack lots of water bottles and a few organic juice boxes for something different.
I fall back on this list when I’m planning lunches, too. One of my children is a bit of a grazer. She prefers to have several small options rather than a sandwich or Thermos of soup. We’ll pick a protein source and add a cheese stick or small container of organic yogurt. Then she will choose some fruit, put some granola in a reusable pouch, and grab some baby carrots or veggie chips.
Keeping the basics to make these snacks on hand saves me a lot of time and frustration when I’m trying to find healthy snacks for my family. I can spend a few hours on Saturday baking some granola and slicing up fruits and veggies, and know that my kids are eating healthy DIY snacks instead of foods filled with chemicals, sugar, and food coloring. Plus, if those healthy snacks are in the house, I’m much less inclined to break into the candy stash I have hidden in my closet.
Now I just have to hope that my kids don’t rebel and raise their children on Little Debbie.