So it’s officially the new year (I know it was officially last week, but it’s just starting to feel like it to me) and I am super motivated to feed my family good, healthy stuff. I am finally coming to grips with the fact that feeding my family (which is quite a feat on it’s own) good healthy food might be more expensive but I think it’s a good investment.
Let me give you an example. My son, he is 6 years old. He eats 8 whole wheat pancakes, two scrambled eggs, and a banana with a glass of milk each morning (when I have time to make them). You guys, I can’t make this stuff up, the kids is always hungry!! The worst part is that I know this is just a mini preview into the teen years. Probably reason #1 we can only have two kids.
Needless to say we have snack times. I try to regulate them otherwise they would literally eat all day. So when they’re not in school we have a morning and afternoon snack time in between meals where we sit down to eat and when they’re done, they are DONE. No more asking to eat anything!
I also don’t want to feed them just anything. I stay away from fried foods, high fructose corn syrup, packaged goods, and sweet stuff. This makes it even harder. Which I’m okay with because I’d rather have a challenge and feed my kids food that is healthy for their body than have an easy time with junk food. Now I’m no 100 Days of Real Food or anything, but I am trying to make changes!
So today I have 21 healthy snacks your kids will enjoy. In fact, I think everyone will enjoy them! Keep in mind, I am no food expert and you have to make decisions that are best for your family. I just wanted to encourage you to read the labels when you buy things and try to make the best, healthiest choices. Often times there are bad things slipped into items marketed right towards kids and their moms who are desperately trying to keep them full in a healthy way.
Let’s get started!
My kids love rice cakes! I am so glad too because it’s a yummy healthy thing I feel good about giving to them! There’s also a million ways to prepare them. I buy the organic version from our local supermarket and make sure you’re reading the labels so there’s no added yuckiness in them. Here’s some fun ideas on how to prepare them:
- With natural peanut butter & honey. Can I make a suggestion here? Please stop buying Jiffy’s or Skippy’s peanut butter. It’s a mockery of what peanut butter is supposed to be – yummy, natural and good for you and defeats the purpose of eating it! I have found that the Laura Schudder’s Old Fashion version is brilliant. You can find it at Costco so no extra trips and IMO it tastes better. Then you can not feel so bad about all the PBJ’s your kid eats! Drizzle some organic honey and you’ve got yourself a winner!
- With Jam. My oldest boy loves rice cakes and jam. So I buy the organic jam without the added junk and I don’t feel bad about giving it to him. He eats about 3 at snack time (I have to cut him off) and we’re good.
- Mascarpone cheese & avocado or cucumber. Does this sound funky? Because it’s not, it’s good. Mascarpone cheese has a very mild flavor and can easily go sweet or savory. I added the avocado and it was delish. Both my kids said they liked it too! My younger son loves cucumbers & the combo sounds great to me! Experiment with adding your own veggies to the mix!
- Mascarpone cheese & honey or jam. You can really do so much with mascarpone cheese, the options are endless, but another yummy version is the sweet option with honey!
- Grilled veggies. I don’t know about you, but I am always trying to add more veggies into my family’s diet. Weather it’s hidden in a smoothie or just slapped on a rice cake! I love grilled veggies and this is a great combo!
Fresh or frozen fruit with cream
If you have a hard time keeping fresh fruit in the house like me, frozen fruit is the next best option. I haven’t found a ton of options here in France but when I do, I buy them. Throw the berries in a bowl and set aside, then pour the cream or mascarpone cheese in a small saucepan and heat on low. Throw in some honey & a little bit of vanilla and mix until it’s heated through. Add this on top of the fruits and serve! Keep the cream/cheese to a minimum obviously and let the fruit shine through. It’s a yummy combo though!
Banana bites with peanut butter
Honestly, I am not a huge banana fan but the rest of my family is. For this snack you have three options. One, cut up the banana and freeze the slices. When you’re ready to serve pull them out and add some of that natural peanut butter in between. The other option is to dry the banana slices. You can do this in a dehydrator or in the oven. My recommendation is the oven, who needs another kitchen appliance?
Homemade granola is do die for. And I have yet to find a granola (here in France anyway) that doesn’t include high fructose corn syrup! I mean, really? Isn’t it supposed to be healthy? Anyway, make your own, it’s easy & yummy. Here’s my recipe. Here are some ways to snack on the granola.
- With homemade or natural apple/fruit sauce. I love the blend of textures and it sweetens it up naturally. Kids will love this one!
- With plain yogurt and honey. Not gonna lie, plain yogurt isn’t sweet enough for me. So when I blend these two, I just add a little organic honey!
- Quinoa, granola, fruit bowl. This can also be a breakfast all by itself. But if you haven’t people in your house that eat a lot & need full bellies, this is a great option. If you need sweetener, honey goes well.
- With milk! Just like cereal. Add a little in a bowl with some fresh, organic milk and this is a great after school snack!
- With fruit. Add some of the frozen or fresh fruit you have on hand and mix it with the granola. You can also combine this with some plain yogurt or applesauce as well.
Homemade Applesauce/Fruit Sauce
Well, it doesn’t exactly have to be homemade although homemade applesauce is very easy & can easily be done with your children. Sometimes we just don’t have the time. This is where I suggest reading the labels. I can’t tell you how many applesauces I’ve seen, in France & the US that have high fructose corn syrup or added sugar among other things. It’s ridiculous to me because apples are already sweet! They don’t need anything added! So I search for applesauce where the label reads: apples. And if I can, I buy it organic.
Sliced Cucumbers, cream cheese & Whole Wheat cracker
I know it might be hard to get your kids to eat veggies. My little guy happens to like cucumbers so this isn’t so bad for me. I could see how it would be hard if you had someone against it. But maybe this one you keep on the books and try after you’ve been able to implement some more veggies into their lives. Otherwise, it’s a great snack for you! 🙂
Veggies & yogurt dip
Celery, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, whatever your littles will eat, put it out with some yogurt dip. If at all possible, it’s a great idea to make the dip from scratch at home and just have it in the fridge. I found a great recipe from How Sweet It Is for a yogurt dip with fresh ingredients and also what looks like a yummy avocado dip from Two Peas and their Pod. Heck, these sound like a great ones for parents too!
Veggies & Hummus
Make the hummus yourself and just store it, that way you know it’s truly healthy. It’s super easy, find a recipe you love and basically you just through all the ingredients into the blender. I’ve made the Vitamix version and it was good. This is a fun, yummy way to get your kids to eat veggies too!
Whole wheat rice with milk & honey
Do you always have left over rice? Well, put it in a bowl, add a little bit of organic milk & honey and voila, you have a snack! And I don’t know about you, but I actually prefer whole grain brown rice. We had a huge victory in our house the other night. My husband, who generally refuses to conform to my wanna be healthy ways, ate brown rice for dinner. Knowingly. I can’t tell you what a huge step this is for us!! He’s been the hardest to get on board, yes even compared to the kids. The kids don’t have a choice, they eat what I serve. The husband, well, he pays the bills so he eats what he wants. I have been explaining the health benefits to him and slowly but surely he is making changes. He says he doesn’t care if it tastes good!
Celery & peanut butter
This one I added because actually I really don’t like celery. There aren’t many ways to prepare it in a way I will enjoy it. Even with peanut butter. But when we were grocery shopping other day and I picked some up (to make vegetable broth) my son said “oh ya, I like that stuff. I eat it with peanut butter with Papi.” Well okay then! I guess I learned not to count things out just because I don’t like it!
We love smoothies around here. And I love slipping in veggies so they’re getting them without knowing it! I use organic carrot juice as the base and add in organic spinach as well. What I recently did, to make it easier for me, is buy one all natural smoothie at the grocery store and then just add a little to it. I add the spinach, carrot juice, frozen blueberries, chopped banana, basically whatever you have to thicken it up and make the store bought smoothie last longer. This is another reason frozen fruit is good to have on hand! I have a recipe for a yummy green smoothie & a tropical orange smoothie if you’re looking for ideas!
So there you have it, I’m all out of ideas for now! Please, leave yours in the comments, I am always looking for new ideas! Here’s to a healthier, happier year!!