Planning for healthy snacks can help satisfy hunger in between meals and keep you moving towards your food group goals.
Keep a handful of unsalted nuts or dried fruit in your bag or car for your or your kids. It’s a simple way to have healthy snacks on hand when hunger strikes.
When your child comes home from school, often they’re ravenous. Having a healthy snack ready to grab and go is crucial.
Pantry Snack Stash Ideas
- Popcorn: Pop popcorn once and make several snack size bags to use as snacks for the week.
- Trail mix: Make trail mix and divide it into snack bags or containers. Put your child’s favorites in the mix and portion it out. If your kids like different things (maybe one likes apricots and the other one likes walnuts) you can add those items to the individual bags and label the bags. Another option is to store the trail mix in an airtight container to allow the children to serve themselves.
- Nut butter: Have individual containers of nut butters ready to eat with whole wheat crackers, celery, sliced apples, and more. Have pre-portioned crackers ready to grab from the pantry stash too.
- Nuts and/or dried fruit: Make whatever combinations of nuts and/or dried fruit that your family likes. If possible, buy unsalted or lightly salted nuts.
Refrigerator Snack Stash Ideas
- Cheese sticks: They are delicious on their own, but your child may enjoy them with pizza sauce for dipping.
- Unsweetened applesauce: You can portion this yourself or buy prepackaged, which you can store in your pantry snack stash.
- Cheese and crackers: Slice and package cheese and whole wheat crackers to store in the refrigerator so that they are together and ready.
- Fruit and/or vegetables and dip: Wash and package fresh fruit and/or vegetables into portions, and make a dip to-go along with it if you’d like.
- Hummus: Individual portions of hummus can be paired with vegetables or with crackers (or both) for a satisfying snack.
- Hard cooked egg: Or to change it up a bit, try deviled eggs.
- Snack bars: You can make your own snack bars with parent and child-approved ingredients once per week and portion them out for use throughout the week.
Freezer Snack Stash Ideas
- Frozen smoothies: Freeze smoothies into ice pop molds to grab-and-go.
- Muffins: Bake wholesome, nutritious mini muffins using whole wheat flour, fruit, vegetables and/or nuts and freeze. You can portion them so that they are ready to go for snacking. Take them out in advance to allow time to defrost, or defrost in the microwave.
Adapted from Vitamix
Incorporating veggies into the family diet in subtle ways can help expand the palate and cultivate a taste for vegetables. Smoothies use the natural sweetness of fruit as the perfect disguise. Pineapple, orange, and grapes are particularly good smoothie ingredients to marry with vegetables. Apples can offset greens with a slight “bite” such as spinach. Cucumber adds a crisp finish without taking center stage. Try these recipes for nutrition that looks as wonderful as it tastes.
- Beet, Strawberry, Cranberry Smoothie
Bright, beautiful, and bursting with flavor.
- Fruit Salad Smoothie
Carrot and cucumber go incognito in this delicious medley of fruit.
- Gold Medal Smoothie
Fresh fruit and carrot create a winning combination. Add protein powder for sustained energy when you’re on the go.
- All Green Smoothie
Broccoli and greens are tucked neatly behind the sweetness of grapes, pear, avocado, and pineapple juice.
- Everything Smoothie
With carrot, broccoli, spinach, and six different fruits, this recipe lives up to its name.
For smoothies 6-10, visit the Vitamix website.
Check out this easy breakfast or snack idea! It takes you only a couple extra minutes to turn boring toast into this super fun holiday breakfast or snack!
4 items required: bread (use whole wheat for added fiber and nutrients), strawberry jam, cream cheese (use low fat to keep calories down) and a sandwich bag.
Toast your bread then apply strawberry jam.
Place cream cheese in a baggie, snip off corner, then use to draw a design on your toast.
Even better, let your kids draw on their own breakfast!