A sweet friend recently suggested that I do a post about what (unprocessed) snacks I offer the kiddos. This can be such a challenge and even with the kids all in school all day (and thus, less snacking), I still struggle to put a good snack on the table at 3:15.
With a little preparation it really can be done quickly and easily. Plus, if you include the kids in preparing the baked goods, you can teach kitchen skills, math, reading and attention to detail while you're at it. (And, let's be honest, during those long days there is always room for another 30 minute activity.)
Here are some of our standbys when snack time rolls around:
Roasted Garbanzos I love these though the first few tries weren't huge hits with the kids. I think mine are the exception because everyone else's kids seem to love them. Give them a try!
Whole Wheat Muffins (Note: Lisa uses white whole wheat flour, we've had great success with plain 'ole whole wheat. I even sent these to school as my monthly snack contribution and they were gobbled up.) Apples/Peanut Butter (other nut butter or sun butter would be fine)
Popcorn Until we moved, we'd always used an air popper. Since we've been here in Italy, we've used a Whirley Pop (thanks for the rec, Dortch family!) with great success. I highly recommend it for quick, healthy popcorn. My usual recipe is 1 T coconut oil, 1/2 C popcorn and a bit of salt. Not only a great snack but I often send it as the "crunch" for the kids' lunches.
Triscuits These are only crackers I'm buying these days. With only three ingredients I think they're a good choice. Pair them with a bit of cheese, some hummus or some fruit and you're set.
Yogurt with berry sauce. I've had great success with this recipe for homemade yogurt. You can also make parfaits by layering them with fruit and granola. (We've made our granola in the past but also enjoy the Bare Naked granola.) This also makes a great breakfast. And, the kids can make their own!
Hummus and veggies
Nuts (especially almonds and pistachios) Raw unsalted almonds are the best and watch the salt content on the pistachios though I must admit that the salt and pepper variety disappear very quickly around here. We just found raw almonds for the first time here and the kids and I ate them like candy. YUM!!
Quinoa Patties with homemade ranch. We usually have this for dinner but it seems like it could be a delicious, satisfying snack as well (also a great lunch with salad).
Another thing I love is putting together a snack tray. It seems kids are more likely to try new or different foods when they are presented in a fun way. This is also something the kids could help with and the combinations are endless.
Of course, as warmer weather approaches there are all kinds of fruit-cicle options to explore. The fun of a popsicle without the sugar and other junk.
How about you? What do you offer between meals?