My Kind Of Fast Food: On The Go Snacks
I love quick and easy snacks as much as the next mom but so many of them out there are filled with artificial ingredients and sugar; especially high fructose corn syrup. I have done my research over the last few years, and now I try to stick to whole foods as much as possible. However, I am realistic and won’t pretend that life doesn’t get busy. I don’t always have enough time to prep a bunch of healthy snacks, before the week starts. I do try to always keep a stash of health, grab-and-go options, for when we are literally running out the door and one of my kids says “mom, what about lunch (or snack time)!” Never fear, snack stash to the rescue!
-Trader Joes Crushers: These are basically applesauce, but lots of other fruit options, and they are packed with a Sippy top, so no spoon is required. Just throw it in their backpacks and go! My kids love these and they love the different flavors.
-Fresh Fruit- my kids all have different fruits they like. Skyler loves apples the most, and I usually pack an almond butter packet for a little extra protein. Allie, my middle, loves berries, which are super easy to throw into a container or a Ziploc. Brynna, our youngest, loves oranges and bananas. Oranges are sometimes a bit messy, but I opt for the Cuties, and those are a little less of a mess.
-Cut up veggies are great snacks too! My kids, of course, all like something different so I do keep a variety. The pre-packaged veggies are always a great and simple option. My daughter Allie loves to dip hers in hummus while my youngest prefers peanut butter.
-Bars- these are tricky! Some are as bad as candy bars. You can make your own (lots of great recipes out there, but watch the sugar). I do buy Cliff Z-Bars, Quest bars, Kind Bars and Lara Bars. No they are not 100% clean, but they are great to keep on hand. It is far better than a microwaved meal, or a drive thru burger and fries.
-Fruit Strips are quick and easy, but again, watch the sugar content on them and make sure they have nothing artificial in them. I love the Stretch Island strips found at Costco.
-Nuts are a great snack as well but beware if your child is in class with another little one who has a nut allergy. My youngest is my only child who likes nuts. She loves almonds, cashews and walnuts. I do not pack them in their lunches because each has a child in their class with a severe nut allergy. But I do keep them on hand when they are “starving” before dinner, or when they first get home from school.
My husbands favorite snacks are hardboiled eggs, Greek yogurt and almonds. I will hard-boil a dozen eggs during Meal Prep, and I always keep Chobani flavored yogurts in the individual cups, on hand. Costco has unsalted almonds, so I keep a container of those in the pantry. I try to put a few handfuls in Ziploc bags during meal prep, so Scott can grab them on his way out on a busy day.
Scott is amazing at supporting our healhty lifestyle, and even helps me Meal Prep!
Skyler heading to school with Fruit Strip & a Cutie
Brynna loves fruit!
There is not much prep required for snacks. I buy everything on Sunday in time for meal prep. I wash the fruit and veggies and put them in containers in the fridge. I keep apples, oranges and bananas out on the kitchen table in a fruit bowl. We also have a designated snack shelf in our pantry. This snack shelf is a life saver for me. I cannot tell you how many times a day I hear “I am hungry!” My oldest and youngest love popcorn, so we do have that for a snack once a week. We use our air popper, and I hardly put any salt on the popcorn, and no butter, just olive oil!
I also have a car emergency kit with food. I know that sounds funny but as a mom of 3 I have to be prepared. Sometimes we will be out running around and may get delayed. Rather than running through a drive thru (like I used to) I have snacks in my car.
-Jar of Peanut Butter or Almond Butter (a spoon)
-At least 5 bars
-3 Fruit strips (one for each kid)
-Rice Cakes are surprisingly durable and you can just put some PB on it for a quick filling snack.
Just remember to keep it simple and check ingredients on any kind of packaged foods. Even if the lable claims "real fruit" or "no additives", check and see how MUCH real fruit is actually in the item, as companies are known to put the minimum requirement of real ingredients into food, and instead they use cheap fillers to actually create a version of the real thing.
Also, invite your kids to pick out their favorite healthy snack while grocery shopping. This helps them feel like they are truly a part of the proccess, especially if this is a new change in your household.