In case you didn’t know, it is hard to keep a child fed. Sometimes the food is too mushy. Sometimes they don’t like the color. Sometimes they are too distracted to eat. And depending on your kiddo’s age, sometimes they can’t physically get the food into their mouth. And if the stars align and your child does eat– you still have to clean up the aftermath.
The struggle is real y’all.
While there is no ‘“one-size-fits-all” kind of snack, here are seven of the best snacks, sure to keep you (and your child’s stomach) happy. The best part? Most of these options are completely customizable to the kiddo in your life.
1. Fruit Salad (Yummy Yummy)
There is a reason The Wiggles sang about fruit salad.
Not only is fruit delicious, but it is also cheap, easy to access, and requires very little prepping. And while we all aspire to hand our children those cookie-cutter fruit kabobs we see all over Pinterest, rest assured that your fruit will be just as delicious if it is just diced and sliced the good old fashioned way. And if you aren’t fully sold already, fruit has a ton of vitamins and antioxidants.
So if veggies are a hard no in your house, fruit is a great way to get those nutrients in.
2. Granola Bites
Granola bars are arguably the greatest snack ever created. But the sugar crash and hefty price tag...not so much. Luckily, homemade granola bites are easy to whip up and are just a fraction of the cost. Most recipes call for nut butter, oats, liquid sweetener, and then whatever fixings your heart desires.
And, if you are running short on time, these granola bites from Made Good are quick, allergen-free and worth every penny. Plus, with just a few granola balls per serving, you don’t have to worry about finding half a granola bar crusted to the couch tomorrow.
Wraps are way more fun to eat than regular sandwiches.
Or, at least kids usually think so, especially when they are cut into bite-size pieces that are as beautiful as they are delicious. You can fill your wrap with meat and cheese, PB & honey, Nutella and strawberries, and so much more.
And the best part? One wrap can be split into a handful of pinwheels. So serve some and then store the rest for when your child says they are hungry again in approximately 45 minutes.
4. Veggie Chips
Okay, this one isn’t totally customizable for your child. And I have yet to find a super awesome recipe to make veggie chips. But if you need a break from the french-fry smell of Veggie Straws, this bag of Off the Eaten Path might be the answer to your hassle-free, healthy snack prayers.
With just seven ingredients (three of which are legumes), this gluten-free option is great for school lunches, after school snacks, picnics–really anytime your kiddo needs a snack. And since it is jam-packed with legumes, it also has the protein your child needs to grow.
I know that celery is not very exciting, but hear me out. Celery is a great way to get kids introduced to veggies. And, celery doesn’t produce crumbs, is unbelievably inexpensive, and is super easy to prepare. This wonder veggie is both crunchy and satisfying when paired with the right topping.
Choose from cream cheese, peanut butter & raisins, hummus or basically anything else you can think of. And once you find a dip, your child loves, adding other veggies to their diet won’t be so daunting.
Popcorn is not just for movies. Assuming you are a corn-friendly house, popcorn is a cheap, versatile and a delicious snack for any time of day. This gluten-free staple can be added to nuts for a satisfying trail mix or cooked with coconut oil and maple syrup for a kettle corn alternative.
And for savory flavor, consider adding nutritional yeast and butter to your popcorn.
As an added bonus, kids can help make this yummy snack, creating fun memories and a delicious treat. While there are a few fun ways to cook popcorn, our family loves to use this popcorn spinner.
Smoothies are an awesome way to sneak extra nutrients into your child’s predominately chicken nugget diet. And by choosing homemade over the premade store-bought versions, you can tailor each recipe to your child’s needs and save yourself a ridiculous amount of money.
And have I mentioned how easy smoothies are to make? Just throw everything into a blender, pour it into a few bottles, and you’ll have snacks for a few days.
These reusable bottles from Shenandoah Homestead Supply are both eco-friendly and a good size for children.
Unfortunately, children do not come with user manuals. And neither do their stomachs.
Experts suggest that it takes several encounters with a new food before our taste buds fully acclimate with the flavors. So if your child doesn’t like something one day, you can always try the food again later, prepared in a different way.
And remember, a child will eat when hungry. No two children have the same eating habits, so unless your doctor is concerned, you don’t need to be either. You are doing great!
Here’s to the children we know and love...and the parents that feed them!
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