‘Can I have a snack???’ The resounding question comes around the clock at my house! I don’t know about you, but I feel like I am ALWAYS feeding my kids! It doesn’t matter how much time or thought I put into making meals, my kids always want snacks! ALWAYS!
And since I’m busy homeschooling throughout the day, I need snacks that are fast, efficient, and get the job done! I can’t spend hours creating fancy snacks with eccentric ingredients. They need to be QUICK and EASY snacks. Snacks that are helpful for a busy mom. And snacks that don’t make a big mess! (That’s a bonus!)
I also care about the quality of food I give my kids and I’m sure you do too. The snacks I choose need to be easy, but not so easy that all I’m doing is opening a package and handing unrecognizable ingredients to my kids.
They also need to go beyond the average cut up apple and peanut butter! My kids are smart. They like apples, but in their minds, they don’t qualify as a snack!
So what’s a busy mom to do?
Find a great list of snacks and keep it close for reference. Then stock the pantry and rest assured that you have a plan for those hungry bellies that are always asking for food!
Ten Quick and Easy Snacks for Kids
- Smoothies – One of my all time favorite smoothie recipes, perfect for fall, is the pumpkin smoothie. I posted my recipe on Modern Alternative Mama, so you can access it here. I love smoothies because they can be altered to just about any dietary needs. Our family has so many allergy restrictions that this is a MUST for me! It’s easy to overlook the simplicity of a smoothie. There are so many awesome recipes online, but the sky really is the limit. If you’re wondering what to do, check out my Pinterest board for some great options. although it’s not necessary, a high-powered blender, like the(affiliate) Blendtec makes smoothies that seem like you bought them at a smoothie bar!
- Hummus – I make my own hummus instead of buying it in containers. It saves so much money to make it from scratch. I start with dried chickpeas, (although you could use a can if you wanted to.) (affiliate) (The Instant Pot makes dried beans and pease amazingly fast! I love using it because I can set it and forget it! IF you don’t have an Instant Pot, here are 4 reasons you need one! ) My kids love hummus on carrots, crackers, and on chips. Hummus is a fun food because you can dip it. And kids love to dip things. And it’s packed with nutrients! It’s a good idea to make up a batch of hummus the night before you need it so the flavors meld together. And then once you have it on hand, it will make a very quick and easy snack.
- Pinwheels – If you don’t have any dietary restrictions, then pinwheels are an awesome quick and healthy snack for your kids. First, you need some whole-grain tortillas. You can find so many options for tortillas that are packed with healthy ingredients. And then just think of it as a blank slate. In our house, for the kids who don’t have grain allergies, we like to spread peanut butter on them and fruit. Then sprinkle coconut or pecans on top. You could even top it with a trace of honey! One of our favorite combinations is banana, peanut butter, coconut chips and a drizzle of honey. Use your imagination and come up with some cool combinations! When you’re finished, cut them in bite sized pieces to make a pinwheel.
- A Snack Station – This takes a little bit of prep work ahead of time, but once you have it set up, it will be so easy for you to let your kids grab and go. Use snack sized bags and baskets or shoebox totes to organize your snack station. Just make sure you set up restrictions and boundaries because, at least in my house, I know that kids will eat as much as you let them! The neat thing about a snack station is that you can tailor it according to your family’s individual needs. And if you have a membership to a warehouse store, you can buy your snacks in bulk and divide them into snack sized resealable bags.
- Trail mix – Trail mix is nice because it gives a nice mid-morning boost and it doesn’t require any preparation. Again, if you can buy it in bulk quantities, then you will also cut down the cost.
- Protein bites – These will also require preparing ahead of time, but once you do, then your kids can just grab them quickly without mess. To make protein bites, take one part peanuts and one part dates and process them in (affiliate) a food processor. That will form the base. You can add in anything else you’d like. Coco, coconut flakes, cinnamon, protein powder, powdered milk etc. When you’re finished, roll them into balls and store them in the fridge.
- Muffins – Find your favorite muffin recipe and bake up a quadruple batch. Then freeze them. (Quick breads and muffins freeze really well and can even be warmed up in your oven later to taste fresh baked.) When your kids need a quick and easy snack, they can take them out individually and let them thaw on the counter. Or if you’re good and thinking ahead of time, you could take them out in the morning so that they are thawed and ready when your kids are looking for a snack.
- A baked potato – A baked potato can also be a blank slate. Some of my kids like them just with butter and salt and others like to put salsa and taco toppings on them. You can top them with just about anything. Cheese, vegetables, pizza toppings. etc. I like to think of potatoes as more of a hearty snack or even a meal, but I included it because I know potatoes are something that most people almost always have on hand. Bake some potatoes and keep them in the refrigerator so your kids can grab them quickly.
- Fruit salad – This is a treat in our house! My kids love to have a bowl of fruit salad as a quick and easy snack. I really like bulk cooking because it saves so much time, so I recommend that if you are going to make one bowl of fruit salad, you make two bowls of fruit salad. That way it will last you for several days. In the winter when good fruit isn’t as easy to come by, (I live in the Great White North!) I do what I can with fresh fruit and then add frozen fruit to supplement. (Also bought at Costco) It’s nice because as the fruit melts, it creates a sauce and melds the flavors together.
- Lettuce salads – It took me awhile before I caught on that my kids would actually eat salad. My three year old loves them! And as long as I have the right toppings, all of my kids like to eat salads. Keep fresh ingredients cut up and on hand. That way your kids can help themselves to a quick salad, no matter what the time of day. And I don’t know about you, but I never complain if my kids want to eat extra vegetables!
The ideas here are not necessarily creative or uncommon. But I know as a busy mom, sometimes I just need someone to tell me what to make for a quick and easy snack. I know that if I am prepared, my kids are much happier and less likely to complain that we don’t have anything to eat. Hopefully these ideas will help get you started so you can feed those hungry bellies!
How about you? What do you feed your kids for quick and easy snacks? I’d love to hear any ideas you have. I am always looking for something new to try! Please comment below and let me know what quick and easy snacks you make.