I’ve lost count of how many times day I hear, “Moooooom, I’m hungry!” It definitely reaches double digits more often than not, and I swear, I feed my kid a proper breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She’s a hungry, healthy, growing girl, and unless her appetite at meal times suddenly disappears, I can’t deny her food. I’m an avid snacker myself – she probably inherited it from me.
So I’m learning to get creative and keep snacks on hand that are tasty, fun, and on the healthier side. And more often than not, they’re so good, my daughter’s stuck sharing them with me. Here’s my fail proof list of 10 snack ideas you, and your kids, will love…
Peanut butter energy balls
I almost always have a container of these stashed in the fridge for snacking emergencies. They’re tiny, addictive, and your kids will have a blast helping you make them. Use peanut butter as a binder, add in your desired toppings, mix the whole gooey mess up, and let it firm up in the fridge for a couple hours before you roll them into tablespoon-sized balls. Our favourite combination is puffed rice cereal, oats, and chocolate chips. I usually throw in a sprinkling of flax and chia seeds for good measure too. But these are totally customizable, so use whatever floats your boat. And if your family doesn’t do peanut butter, pureed dates, or any other nut butter, make a great substitution.
Veggies with a side of creativity
Veggies and dip are a classic for a reason, right? I like to serve mine up with an extra dose of fun. Give your kids a handful of toothpicks and watch them turn regular old vegetables into people, animals, houses, cars, whatever they can think of. I know we’re supposed to tell them not to play with their food, but in this instance, it’s fun and generally mess-free.
Animal rice cakes
A rice cake is your base, your spreadable bottom layer is whatever you please – peanut butter, cream cheese, apple sauce… Use a combination of cleverly sliced fruit, veggies, cheese, raisins, etc. to turn them into cute and delicious animal faces. I’m not generally artistically inclined, but even I can make one into a decent looking cat.
This is my compromise when my daughter boldly requests ice cream at 9 am. Yogurt + granola or cereal + fruit = yummy! Use whatever combo you happen to have readily available.Yogurt + granola + fruit = a #yummy #healthy #kidfriendly snack! Click To Tweet
Pita bread pizzas
Satisfy that pizza craving with a snack size and easy to make version. Top a pita with whatever combination of sauce, cheese, and toppings, and bake in the oven until things get melty.
It’s pretty, it’s refreshing, and it’s a great way to use up random bits of leftover fruit. Get chopping, throw everything in a bowl, and throw some yogurt in as a dressing if you’re feeling fancy.
Homemade granola bars
Another option where the possibilities are endless. Same basic principle as the peanut butter balls, but instead of rolling your mix into balls, press it into a parchment-lined pan, and let it chill in the fridge before slicing into bars. My personal favourite combination is granola, shaved coconut, dark chocolate chips, and dried cherries.
Frozen yogurt popsicles
Invest in a few popsicle molds, or use an ice cube tray if you’re in a pinch. Drop a few berries into the bottom of each one and cover with yogurt. Pop in the freezer and pull out a cool and tasty snack a few hours later!
Peanut butter dip
Did I mention we like peanut butter? This is my least creative, but most often used, peanut butter snack. Take some peanut butter, dollop a few big spoonfuls into a bowl, and get dipping! My daughter’s a big fan of apples, bananas, and raisins, but you can dip just about anything.
Try to stay away from the packaged stuff and use an air popper or your stove-top. Use whatever seasonings and toppings you like, and get ready to enjoy a little quiet time while the little ones are munching away.
So next time you hear, “I’m hungry!”, try one of my old standbys. And feel free to share a few of your own. My daughter’s not going to stop growing anytime soon : )