12 August 2015

Quick & Healthy Kid-Friendly Snacks

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Hi lovelies!
I'm stopping in here today to share some of our family's favorite kid-friendly snacks that are QUICK to prepare! With two kids under three, a home-based business, and a husband in the military, I know a few things about being strapped for time! Hehe. Really, any mama out there can relate!

Anyhoo, with time being a factor, I know how easy it is to reach for a bag of chips instead of something more nutritious for the wee ones. We've all been there, to be sure! So here are a few tips, tricks, and ideas that might help you get some extra healthy options on the table for our little ones! When you're done here, take a look over at Nuts.com for a great collection of healthy snacking ideas, and a great place to buy your snacks too!

(1) Chopped Fruits & Veggies
So simple, yet so often overlooked! There are many great options that require low prep time- clementines, grapes, berries, string beans, sugar snap peas, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes. Prep a few containers on the weekend with pre-portioned yummies and save yourself even MORE time when it comes to the busy weekdays!

(2) Yogurt
Tons of calcium and healthy fats can be found in dairy products- a favorite of ours being yogurt! There's such a wide variety available and all are low prep. Pre-portioned cups are a little more expensive, but it doesn't get much easier than taking the top off and serving! A larger container just requires a spoon for scooping and serve- also great to customize serving size if you've got a toddler who eats less or a bigger kid who eats more! No more throwing out leftover, partially eaten containers. For young ones, I love to serve yogurt in reusable pouches, like ReSqueeze! Another great option is drinkable yogurt! Perfect to send in lunch boxes or as a snack! We get our drinkable yogurt in large containers from our local "low temperature pasteurized" (aka. almost raw) dairy! Serve with some granola or fruit to mix in or dip!!

(3) Cheese, Crackers, etc.
We love our cheese around here- smoked gouda, locally-made extra sharp cheddar, or raw milk imports- we are an equal opportunity cheese-loving household! Add in some crackers (we love Nut Thins!), and some olives, pickles, mini bell peppers, cherry tomatoes- instant appetizer plate! Which happens to be perfect for a snack plate too! Portion out into smaller containers, or spread everything on a platter for the group to graze on- there's no wrong way to enjoy.

(4) "Healthy" Desserts
Now, don't get me wrong, we love a scrumptious dessert just as much as the next person! We find adding a little extra "healthy" factor can not only yield the nutritional benefits, but also make a great dish even MORE scrumptious! Think things like coconut (healthy fats!), nuts (healthy fats and protein!), veggies (pumpkin & zucchini go great in many desserts), and fruits/berries. These obviously require prep time, but once they're made, one batch will last a few days. Or double a recipe and freeze half for a quick prep time later! Here's a few of our favorites:
- Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies
- Pumpkin Maple Bread with Pecan Streusel
- Peach Sorbet  (substitute with most any fruit!)
- Berries or sliced fruit with homemade whipped cream
- Sliced apples and Nutella

BONUS: Smoothies
This is more for mom, but our kids love these too! It was actually the first food that my oldest ate. While smoothies do require a little more prep time, they're more portable than most snacks and more filling! Make a large batch on the weekend and freeze them- I pull out a new one each morning from the freezer so it's ready for tomorrow's breakfast or lunch. Keep pre-portioned ingredients in containers in the fridge/freezer so you can quickly make them any weekday! Our favorite recipe (and I don't even like kale, but I CRAVE this smoothie!) is Green Monster Smoothie. A quick prep tip: just throw some chopped fruit and yogurt into a cup and use a stick/immersion blender to blend it up!

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