by Lauren M. Koch, RDN
Yep, it’s that time of year. Running, running, everywhere. The scent of cookies in the air. But, before you stop for donuts, wait! Here’s something much better for your kid’s plate.
Long days call for snacks, this is true. But, not just any snacks. To get them through the shopping trips, the holiday concerts, and the long lines waiting to see a jolly man in red, what they need is FUEL. Check out this list of easy and HEALTHY snack ideas, and make sure to toss a few in your bag on the way out the door.
My 5 Favorite Healthy Snacks to Take On the Go.
- Healthy Trail mix. I love this one, because it requires no refrigeration, very little prep time, and is easy to change up so they don’t get bored. The key is to mix up a filling combo of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Without the addition of too much sugar. Any combination of the following are good bets: whole grain cereals, unsweetened dried fruit like raisins or banana chips, dried edamame or chick peas, nuts, and seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds. To up the kid-friendly factor, go ahead and toss in some dark chocolate chips, but just a few!
- Green Smoothie Muffins. Let’s be honest. When it’s 20 degrees and snowing outside, a cold smoothie just isn’t as appealing. But know what is? Warm baked goods. So why not cross the health benefits of a smoothie with a muffin? These oatmeal green smoothie muffins from The Natural Nurturer do just that. They check off all my boxes: produce, healthy fats, protein, and fiber…all in a kid-approved package.
- Breakfast Cookies. What better way to get your kids to eat something then to refer to it as a cookie? ‘Ya got me. These little energy bites from Eat Your Heart Out with Alex are so much more than just breakfast. They can be a quick snack any time of day when they need a little jolt of nutrition and satisfaction. With superfood ingredients like sweet potato, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds, you’ll be filling them up with nutrients while also satisfying their snack craving.
- Easy Spinach Bites. This one I snagged from The Lean Green Bean. We tried them for the first time a few days ago, and they are already a family favorite. For something that looks almost like a chicken nugget, these little super-snacks pack a ton of greens inside. For added veggie power, try adding some shredded carrot, or cauliflower rice too.
- Egg cups. Another one that can pass as a meal or a snack, egg cups are a super versatile way to pack veggies into a tasty little package. And kids love that they are shaped like muffins! Check out this recipe from Super Healthy Kids for inspiration. But keep in mind that any veggies work in a recipe like this, so make sure to experiment! Rotating your veggie selections is also important to well-rounded nutrition, so make sure to pick from all the colors of the plant rainbow. Plus, they freeze well, which is clutch for those parents who need a quick option that is microwave-friendly.
The good news about all these recipes? They are all easy to make-ahead, freeze well, and are super portable. Even snacks that are perishable are *usually* safe for up to two hours at room temperature. But, if you are concerned, just toss them in a lunchbox with a freezer pack for safe keeping. Now, go tackle that busy day!