By blog team member, Kiran. To learn more about Kiran, check out our team page!
Kids and snacks seem to go hand in hand. In our case, my kids always have an after-school snack. They will occasionally have a mid-morning snack, too, when they’re not at school. And I am definitely known to snack as well! I’m absolutely open to snacking, so long as it provides nutritional value, is not loaded with sugars or other processed ingredients, and won’t ruin our next meal.
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While we all know there are many snacks that contain processed ingredients and don’t provide any real value, there are plenty of decent options out there. Here’s a list of some of our favorite real food snacks:
It seriously doesn’t get any easier than this. I mean, fruit has its own perfect biodegradable, natural package. How great is that?! I always keep apples, bananas, and mini-oranges (when available) on hand. And depending on the season, I try to have kiwi, berries, or melon at our disposal so that the kids can grab them and go. Obviously, some fruits work better on the run than others, so we snack accordingly depending on whether we’re at home or out and about. Oh, and I should add that for an after-school snack, I always encourage fruit or vegetables along with another option (see ideas below).
Simple Mills Crackers
New on the scene and now a staple in our house are Simple Mills Crackers, which come in four flavors. Though I was introduced to the brand when they were new to the market, I quickly became a huge fan of this sponsor of ours, who makes natural baking mixes and crackers made with simple, clean, non-GMO, and gluten-free ingredients (perfect for my gluten-free daughter). But not only do the labels check out, so does the taste. I initially got two boxes of crackers – Fine Ground Sea Salt and Farmhouse Cheddar. And they were literally gone the same day. Um, yeah – clearly we were all big fans. The four varieties have 8 – 10 ingredients, including almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and spices. Because there are so many other cracker options that are highly refined, we are glad to have Simple Mills Crackers on hand as a real food option!
Homemade Granola Bars
When I make a big batch of granola bars on the weekend, we’re set for snacks or school lunch throw-ins for a good portion of the week. Naturally, I don’t do this every week – gotta avoid burnout. And I try to mix it up by adding in different extras (shredded coconut, raisins, chocolate chips, dried cherries, or various seeds) to keep things exciting.
Trader Joe’s Organic Fruit Wraps
Though not enough of a snack to be eaten alone, my kids are huge fans of these naturally sweet snacks that are made with 100% fruit. This is an easy toss-in for snacks at school or on-the-go.
Let’s face it. Sometimes store-bought bars are one of the easiest snacks when in a pinch, so long as you’ve read the ingredient list. If you are unsure of how your bar checks out, you may want to read this post. Some of my kids’ favorites include RXBars, good ol’ tried and true Larabars, and a new one (for us), Perfect Bars.
Veggies and Hummus
Truth be told, back in the day, my older kids almost always choose carrots and hummus, and my younger two would go for cherry tomatoes and hummus. But since I started offering sugar snap peas, peppers (various colors), cucumbers, and celery, I’ve noticed that they are choosing these, too. I secretly want to break out in a happy dance when I see them pull out the red, orange, and yellow pepper slices and start snacking on them. It’s the little things, right?!
Muffins, oh muffins – the variations are endless! Whether it’s whole grain goodness or gluten free for my youngest gal, we almost always have a batch in our fridge or freezer ready to pull out and enjoy.
Because one of my girls has a gluten intolerance, this is a super snack that all four kids can enjoy. She also has a peanut sensitivity, so she’ll put almond, cashew, or sun butter on hers while the others generally choose peanut butter. Lisa’s daughter likes to take this snack a step further and put raisins on top. Note: This does not work well for a snack in the car. I speak from experience.
I’m not sure if it’s the fact that the kids seem to “forget” the first part of the name of these snacks (you can imagine the giggles) or the fact that they really are so tasty and filling, but regardless, we are all fans of these powerful little suckers. I’ve been known to sneak a few of these myself as a bedtime snack or simply whenever hunger calls. #noshame
Salsa & Guacamole
Though this is only an occasional snack, salsa and guacamole is a definite favorite for my whole family. My kids will help whip up a batch of guacamole, chock full of tomatoes and 3+ avocados, and we never have leftovers. Yes, tortilla chips are more of a treat (since they’re deep fried), but sliced bell peppers and radishes are great dippers too. And I love the fact that the kids take ownership of making the guac and we are all fond of their creation.
And that’s it! I’d love to hear what some of your favorite snacking options are in the comments below. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas! :)