When you’re on the go with the family, it’s easy to end up at a fast food restaurant for a quick snack. Instead of stopping at the local drive thru, here are some easy snacks you can pack up ahead of time to keep kids full throughout the day.
Fruits & Veggies
This is one of the quickest and easiest snacks and the options are nearly limitless! In a sturdy travel container, take your favorite fruits or vegetables along for you and kids. Some yummy combinations: strawberries/blueberries, raspberries/blackberries, carrots/celery, zucchini/carrots, chickpeas (great for toddlers), apples, grape or cherry tomatoes, cherries… The list can go on for pages.
PRO TIP: Buy what’s on sale and in season for maximum budget friendliness!
Hummus may be the greatest dip in the world. If you worry about your kids not eating the celery and carrots you packed, bring along some hummus for dipping! Because it’s non-dairy, you can easily carry it in your bag or leave it in the car while you run errands. There are many different brands and flavors available at grocery stores, and if you buy hummus, try the Tribe brand. It’s USDA Organic (the price is the same as non-organics) and free of preservatives, dyes, and high fructose corn syrup. Hummus is also super easy to make at home. If you fancy yourself to be good in the kitchen, try whipping up a roasted red pepper hummus or a tomato basil hummus. You’ll love it!
Almond butter is much more nutrient rich than traditional peanut butter and a great option for kids who are allergic to peanuts. If you have a little one who is allergic to all nuts, try sunflower butter. All the good texture of nut butter, without the risk! Almond butter is great to have for dipping those celery stalks or for spreading on apples.
Noodles may seem like a strange or unhealthy snack, but it’s really all about how you prepare them. Boil your noodles without salt and toss them with olive oil for an easy, on-the-go, energy boosting snack. If you want to kick the nutrition up a notch, use pumpkin seed, hemp seed, or macadamia nut oil for tons of nutrients and healthy fats. Sprinkle the noodles with a little sea salt and pepper and you are on your way!
You may have heard that microwave popcorn is bad for you because it contains chemicals and additives that have been linked to cancer. You are correct. However, this doesn’t mean all popcorn is bad for you! If you air pop popcorn (an air popper is about $20 at Target), you’ll retain all the fiber and nutrients popcorn offers without any of the scary stuff! Pick up some organic popcorn kernels while you’re at the store (about $3.50 for over 2lbs) so you can avoid the very common GM (genetically modified) corn.
PRO TIP: If you need a little flavor on your popcorn, try melting 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and drizzling it over the popcorn in place of butter and add spices for different flavors! Try cinnamon sugar popcorn, spicy popcorn (cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, sea salt), or just sea salt and black pepper!
It’s easy to fall into the habit of taking your kids to a fast food place for a meal or a quick snack in between running errands and extra-curricular activities. We all do our best to take care of our kids, so it’s okay to stop at a fast food place once in a while. These snacks should help keep you and your family on the healthy-eating path! Best of all, many of these are allowed on airplanes if you’re traveling with kids for sports or vacation.
Megan Vick is a blogger for a water filter company and health enthusiast.