As we move through the school year, do you find yourself fresh out of healthy snack ideas? Maybe you’re even turning to chip bags and cookies for quick convenience (I know your kids certainly wouldn’t complain if they opened up their snack pack to one of those options). But striking the perfect balance of easy-to-make, nutritious, and tasty doesn’t have to overwhelming. I’ve compiled a list of better-for-your-kiddos snacks that will keep their brains fired up and energy levels boosted, so they can power through the rest of the school day.
1. Veggie Sticks with Jazzed-Up Sunflower Seed Butter
Crunchy carrot and celery sticks with some sort of yummy dip is a snack staple. Since nut butter is a no-no in many districts, though, flip it for some jazzed up sunflower seed butter! Blend a little cinnamon and a touch of maple syrup into the seed butter for an extra drooly helping.
2. Veggies With Hummus
Here’s a fun idea: Grab a small mason jar, fill the bottom with one or two heaping tablespoons of hummus, and then pack in strips of bell peppers (so the bottoms are covered and the tops are easy for little hands to grab)! If you’re in a pinch for time, store-bought hummus is totally fine. But I like to make a keep this homemade sun-dried version in my fridge for last-minute snack cravings!
3. Guacamole and Tortilla Chips
Guacamole is another yummy dip that’s loaded with healthy fats, perfect for your little one’s buzzing brain. Check out my secrets for making the most amazing guac ever! If you have time, make your own kid-friendly chips. Seriously, it’s easier than you may think. Using a cookie cutter, stamp out fun shapes from a GF tortilla. Then, lightly coat your shapes with olive oil and bake until crisp!
4. Veggie Chips
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with busting open a bag of potato chips and indulging every once in a while. But, if your kid craves the crunch then you may want to look into some fresher options. These crave-able kale chips get a major thumbs up from my little guys. But, don’t stop at kale. Try zucchini chips, beet chips, carrot chips, apple chips, sweet potato chips, and the list goes on …
5. Roasted Sweet Curry Chickpeas
Here’s another tasty treat idea that will satisfy the crunch craving. Whip open a can of chickpeas, drain, season with olive oil, salt, curry powder and a touch of maple syrup, and roast at 250ºF until crisp. Serve hot and crisp.
6. Cheese and Fruit Kabobs
This is as easy as it gets. If you’re really running low on time, string some grapes, berries, and cheese cubes on a stick. Kids love pretty much anything on a stick!
7. Crispy Halloumi
Speaking of cheese, have you ever tried Halloumi cheese? It’s a brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk. And, you guessed it, it’s delicious! Here’s what I like to do: Bust out your frying pan, sizzle up a serving of halloumi, and pop some chopped up fried cheese into a tupperware. Don’t worry — pan frying won’t melt halloumi like many other kinds of cheese. Instead, searing this delicious and filling treat will create a slightly crunchy exterior with a soft yet somewhat chewy texture.
8. Better-For-You Pancake Donut
Given the choice, would your kids rather reach for an apple or something sweet and heavy – like a sugary, cake-y donut? Yeah, that answer is pretty obvious! While donuts may sound like the best snack ever to our kids, they rarely earn a spot in their lunch bags. I use the word “rarely” because I don’t believe in denying my family of the fun stuff. With that said, when we do indulge, I healthify. Enter these better-for-you pancake donuts! All you need is a gluten-free boxed mix and a donut mold! Check it out:
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9. No-Bake Chocolate Chip Energy Bites (Use Sunflower Seed Butter)
The first time I whipped up these little goodies was for my daughter’s class. During my demonstration, all I had was a bowl and a spoon. I wanted to show the kids how easy it can be to make something healthy, but equally sweet and indulgent that didn’t require an oven. The verdict? They loved them!