"I want a snack!"
I hear that about ten times a day.
My reply? "Say, 'I want a snack, PLEASE'."
And then we go about shuffling through our pantry and refrigerator to determine our options.
My 2-year-old has definitely picked up on my snacking tendencies. I snack all throughout the day. It's actually a pretty healthy way to eat.
BUT - it's not always easy to come up with healthy options so I thought I'd outline my favorite snack options here for my own reference and for your information:
Nuts : Peanuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachios...take your pick. Nuts require no preparation and can be eaten one-handed on-the-go so I eat a lot of them. My most recent favorite variety are honeyroasted peanuts.
Fresh Veggies : Slice up some cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Serve on a plate with Ranch dressing. Or roast up some zucchini. Or bake a sweet potato. Or grill a bundle of asparagus. The options are almost endless.
Fresh Fruit : A bowlful of raspberries doesn't last long in our house. We also love blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, watermelon, and honeydew. Apples and oranges are good for grabbing on the go. And I appreciate a perfectly ripened pear on most mornings. If you want to get creative, make fruit kabobs on sticks and serve them with strawberry yogurt.
Cheese & Crackers : Slice or cube your favorite kind of cheese. Add a plateful of crackers or a pile of pretzels and - voila! - a perfect snack. Especially when paired with a glass of wine (I know! I know! I'm nursing...no wine for me...yet!).
Dark Chocolate : The higher the cacao content, the better. It's packed with healthy antioxidants...and I've read quite a few studies that say it has numerous nutritive benefits. But I so don't need convincing.
The problem with the middle three options is that they often require "prep work" (slicing, cubing, dicing, stirring, etc.). Prepping is not exactly convenient when you have a nursing baby and an active toddler.
So I will admit that we sometimes eat these:
Not the best choices, I know. But it's tough when you just want to be able to grab a snack and eat it...without using a knife or preheating the oven.
That's why I'm now turning to YOU, the wise Internets (as Jo-Lynne would say...), for more ideas.
YOUR TURN: What healthy (or not-so-healthy) snacks do you and your children eat? Share recipes, ideas, brands, etc.
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We live on cheese and crackers in my house, and it's usually a meal for my son since that is all he will eats some days. I'm pregnant, so I'll have to wait at least a year for that glass of wine, too.
I LOVE honeyroasted peanuts! I LOVE cucumbers! I LOVE pears (my favorite fruit)! Funny about the candies. I LOVE gummy candies, as well. Sweets! Yum!
I don't have children yet. I'd share my snacks though. My passion is cooking/baking food. I LOVE making banana bread. I also make garlic bread. Whatever bread you have, melted butter and stir in some garlic bread seasoning, spread the mixture on the bread and toast. I LOVE spaghetti so I make that. Mostly, it's bread here for snacks. I'm from a different country so I dunno how I could share some brands and all that. Whatever is in the fridge. hehehe!
I don't know if someone already mentioned this, but you could cut the fruit ahead of time and put it in a container in the fridge so you can just grab and eat!
I've been purchasing some of our snacks from Trader Joe's. I love that place! I buy a lot of dried fruit, and I love that their packaged items like cereal bars are all-natural and made without preservatives and yucky stuff. They are better (and cheaper) than many of the supermarket options! When we are at our "regular" grocery store, I almost always pick up a bag of the Natural Cheetos and a box of Annie's bunny crackers. They are staples in our house.
I also like having a fruit bowl on the counter or table. My son is way more likely to choose a piece of fruit when he can readily see them, and it's pretty, too!
I linked to my favorite healthy snacks. My favorites change frequently or else I get bored ha ha. Cottage cheese with hot sauce is one of my new favorite snacks.
Those Edy's fruit bars look good.
my boys LOVE snacks!!! some of our favorites are: cereal, fruit, dried fruit (mango, raisins, cranberries and dried fruit strips from trader joes), trail mix, granola bars, cheez-its, clif zbars, homemade chex mix, the list could go on and on.... : )
Cream cheese crackers with a pile of fresh strawberries!
Our healthy and maybe-healthy snacks:
-Goldfish crackers (the whole wheat ones are just a good)
-raisins or Craisins
-fruit snacks (ie gummie snacks)
We don't snack on veggies(!?)
Our unhealthy snacks:
I make apple oatmeal mini muffins and pop them in the freezer. They make the perfect snack and only need to be microwaved briefly or just allowed to thaw. Frozen grapes and frozen bananas are good summer options as well. And, when I was a kid we thought making our own fruit popsicles was awesome!
What? No Tuesday Tours this week? I always look forward to that.
Healthy snacks are tough. Pretzels are great. I buy the whole grain Goldfish. I do not buy fruit snacks EVER. They are awful for their teeth. I rarely give them chips except with burgers for dinner. I do buy granola bars which I know is nothing more than a glorified candy bar but it's a compromise. I don't buy cookies very often.
Snacks are HARD! :-)
We're all about Goldfish crackers and Teddy Grahams at our house. I like your popsicle choice especially as the weather is heating up -- 97 degrees here yesterday and today. That's huge for the month of May way up here in the Tundra. :)
We like to make homemade "trail mix." I mix Cheerios, nuts, pretzels, dark chocolate chips, banana chips, raisins and other dried fruit, and mini marshmallows. The kids love it (and I do, too)!
Such great ideas - and so portable, too!!! Fruits and cheese & crackers are always favorites - but we're working on adding more veggies. And yes, we have the occasional "chewy bar" - but this is a great reminder of easy, healthy snacks!
All of your options are things we do around here. I also love dried fruits and we do those sometimes too. Sugar loves "crackers" any kind of dry cereal or just plain crackers or cookies, we also do toast and peanut butter, or cinnamon sugar toast, or ice cream... Um. I think I really need to concentrate on finding and taking the time to prep healthier snacks!
One of my favorite snacks from my childhood (and one that I still eat today when the mood randomly strikes me) is yogurt and cheerios mixed together. I know that this snack is a weird texture thing for some people, but my brother and I both loved it!
My 18 mos. old daughter loves the freeze dried fruits, those are a great and handy treat. My sons love whole carrots, the long, skinny ones are the best. Their special treat is bread with Nutella (hazelnut spread). We once saw some kids at the farmers market get some English cucumbers, then just begin eating them like apples! It was great! My sweet treat is a scoop of peanut butter, some chocolate chips, and some dry toasted pecan pieces (from Trader Joe's) in a bowl. Mmmm and easy!
Freeze dried fruit you can snack on like chips. We also get dehydrated fruit bars.
Kashi has great options, I really like to snack on their waffles with a little peanut butter.
I often make large amounts of something. Like if your going to make sweet potato fries, why not make three batches and freeze two.
I also keep drained cooked black beans, salsa, grated cheese and whole wheat wraps in the fridge. Then make quick bean and cheese burrito's. You can nuke those for 20-40 seconds.
We love nuts, raisins dry fruits like apricots!!
String cheese is an easysnack--no prep!!
We're big into the dried fruit too. Is Bulk Barn just a Canadian thing? I love going there because I can pick the dried fruits I like (dried apples especially, but also raisins and cranberries). They have a ton of selection though - dried bananas, papayas, kiwis etc.
We eat a lot of raisins and chocolate chips because they are quick and need no preparation. If I get chopping help, I love muesli - grated apple with other favourite chopped fruits (usually bananas and grapes, maybe some apricot), raisins and often hazelnuts. Either drain out the extra apple juice after grating or add oatmeal to soak it up. Add a bit of yoghurt (I usually use either plain or strawbery). Then let sit for a few hours so that the raisins and nuts absorb some of the moisture.
We also eat a lot of nachos and pickles for some reason...
Olives! Pea loves, loves, loves olives! Somedays we also do a half a peanut butter sammie. Cereal is another favorite, Life or Kicks.
Fruits and veggies are a favorite. Dried fruit (raisins, cherries, etc.) are also a hit. Princess's favorite snack is string cheese. I like those laughing cow spreadable swiss cheese triangles on crackers... yum!!
And we like granola and granola bars, but I always feel better when I make my own LOL.
This is a good recipe
Well, Yes we do the fruit snacks. We also have yogurt, grapes and Riz Crackers. Hummus with Riz crackers really yummy. Cheese is a hit in our house! My kids also love the fishy crackers. Oh, we love peanut butter also, Sometimes, I just make peanut butter sandwiches and cut them into small squares and then the kids gobble them up! Thanks for your post, gives me some new ideas.
This is great for me. I'm not so much a snacker but I'm looking for healthier lunches.
I'm trying to get more creative with our snacking. This isn't real creative but we just had toast with peanut butter, honey and some ground flax seed. We also like carrots and hummus. That's a good one b/c if you buy the hummus (instead of making it) and baby carrots it's easy to just pull out of the fridge. Now that it's fresh fruit season I'm trying to do more of that as well.
Apples and peanut butter, or pretzels and peanut butter, or celery and peanut butter... sense the theme?
My son loves fruit, so this is typically our go-to snack. He also enjoys hummus with whole wheat pretzels or cut up veggies (carrots especially). He's slightly obsessed with dipping things lately, so if he can dip it, he's one happy guy!
My son needs to gain weight so I have to look at the nutritional info for the max calorie and fat content. He likes string cheese and those snacks in the variety packs. I always feel bad about giving him those small packages or even string cheese because of the waste in packaging. He loves peas and corn but I have to mix it in a load of butter to make it worth it. You hear a lot about overweight babies but not enough about underweight ones.
Since you've got most of my 'prep work' snacks listed, I'll share my favorite 'to go' snack: the Larabar. Organic, recognizable ingredients in a handy bar. One of my favorites is Cherry Pie, with its whopping 3 (three!) ingredients: dates, almonds, and unsweetened cherries.
I always have a couple on hand in my purse.
My girls LOVE the dry fruit from Just Tomatoes, especially the Fruit Salad mix. It's healthy, quick, and yum.
You can look here http://www.justtomatoes.com/
I usually buy ours in a coop for cheaper prices, but it really is good stuff.
We mostly do fruits and veggies for our snack time. My 3 year old tells me all day long "I wanna eat something mom." This is right after he ate.
We snack on graham crackers, fruit, veggies, and the good old standby of a handful of Cheerios!
I also find great ideas on the Wholesome Baby Food blog - I spend an hour every other Sunday making and freezing a few different options. Our favorites so far are the Cheese Logs and Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Nuggets.
When my girls were little I often prepared celery ribs filled with peanut butter or cream cheese! We still eat it that way!