My kids are ALWAYS hungry. More times than I can count I will feed them lunch and an hour later they say to me, “When are we going to have lunch? I’m hungry.” True story. Because of that, I always have snacks on hand whether we are at home, at school or on the road.
If you follow us on Facebook, you saw in my post yesterday that my daughter came home with a Fruit Roll-Up that a friend gave her on the bus. When she asked, “Mom, look what my friend gave me! Can I have it as a snack?” I read the ingredient list (Lord help me!) and found nothing but GMOs, food dyes and chemicals in that pretty package of poison. But, because 80% of the time we really do eat well and I never want to be the mom that gives my kids a complex about food, I let her try it.
I don’t mind giving in to temptation every once-in-a-while and making choices that don’t otherwise follow the real food rules. As we talked about in my Real Food Pantry and Real Food Refrigerator posts, though, it’s essential to be well stocked so you don’t go grabbing processed foods whenever you feel hungry. This also includes snacks. Take a look at some real food snack ideas to inspire you to make better choices in between meals.
- Assorted fruit
- Dried fruit
- Fruit leather
- Cucumber slices, broccoli, baby carrots, grape/cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, etc. These are all great eaten plain or dipped.
- Ants on a log. Take a celery stick and spread cream cheese or nut butter in the groove. Top with raisins to make it look like “ants” walking along the celery.
- Edamame (organic only)
- Cucumber sushi or veggie cups
- Unique Wholegrain Sprouted Pretzels
- Lundberg brown rice cakes topped with nut butter or cream cheese and sliced fruit or raisins.
- Whole wheat crackers (like Triscuits but made without oil. Whole Foods 365 brand or Giant’s Nature’s Promise brand) or RyVita with Artichoke and White Bean Dip.
- Organic popcorn. Pop yourself on the stove top with a small amount of oil and sea salt.
- Mary’s Gone crackers with tabbouleh.
- Ak Mak crackers (vegans beware-these do contain dairy) topped with organic cream cheese.
- Trail mix
- Apples dipped in nut butter or hummus or made into a apple sandwich.
- Applesauce. Make yourself or find “one ingredient” applesauce like Eden Organic or Trader Joe’s. Try these Little Green Pouches for the little ones.
- Banana “nice cream” (try my mint chip version!)
- Chocolate “milkshake” (with spinach! Recipe to come).
- Chocolate fudge pops. Add chia, spinach and/or zucchini and blend to make it even more healthy.
- Muffins- I love the muffins from Let Them Eat Vegan. I usually sub 1/2 almond flour for some of her recipes and use applesauce in place of some of the oil. To make them really fun, I use these Pantry Elements Silicon Baking Cups. My kids love them and I love that they are reusable and create less waste.
- Maple Banana Bread
- Smoothies (like my green smoothie)
- Chocolate PB avocado pudding
- Chocolate zucchini muffins
- Fresh fruit popsicles. Like these layered ones or just throw in chopped fruit like this one. Make them more enticing by using these Zoku Classic Mold Pops.
- Plain whole milk (or unsweetened coconut milk) yogurt with granola.
- Fresh squeezed juice (if you own a juicer).
- Dates. Try them plain or stuffed.
- Whole grain toast with fruit spread or nut butter. I love Ezekiel raisin toast.
- Applegate Farms organic lunch meat roll-ups (only on occasion).
- Whole grain pita triangles and salsa or hummus. Make chips by taking pita bread and cut into triangles. Spritz with water and sprinkle on spices of your choice. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes turning once.
- Guacamole with homemade corn chips
- Go Raw Cookies
- Sushi. Take a whole grain tortilla or whole grain bread that has been flattened with a rolling pin, crusts cut off, and load it with veggies, bean dip and roll up. You can also use nut butter and jelly. Slice into small sushi rolls and let the kids use chopsticks for a fun treat.
- Roasted chickpeas. From Sally’s Baking Addiction or Weelicious
- Chocolate banana bites. Melt Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips in a double boiler. Cut up bananas in large chunks. Dip in chocolate so half of the banana bites are covered and sprinkle chopped almonds, peanuts or cashews on the chocolate. Freeze for approximately 30 minutes.
- Leftover pancakes/waffles.
- Chia pudding
So there you have it. I’d love to hear from you. What are you and your family’s favorite go-to snacks?
Until next time, keep it real.
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