Snacking is essential to maintain energy levels, maintain mental focus, and help control our hunger. Children should eat every 2-4 hours. Adults should eat every 3-4 hours. Making simple snacks is fun and easy. Check out some of my favorite simple snack ideas. Give yourself 3-5 minutes to prepare these below snacks:
• Ants on a log: 1 Celery Stick, 1 Tbsp of Almond Butter OR Peanut Butter, 1 Tbsp of Raisins OR Cranberries
o This is better than those crackers already filled with peanut butter because the cranberries or raisins are antioxidants and celery provides fiber which makes us feel more full!
• Yogurt Parfait: Plain Yogurt, ¼ cup Blueberries, ¼ cup Strawberries, ½ banana, cinnamon
o This is way better than flavored yogurt with fruit on the bottom. You can use plain yogurt and add fruit to get the extra sweet. The natural fruit provides antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin C, and more! Cinnamon is an extra plus for fabulous flavor.
• Mini Quesadilla: 1 corn tortilla, 1 slice cheese, salsa (heat in microwave to melt cheese)
o This mini snack can replace a store-bought bar. You get carbs from the tortilla, protein from the cheese, and color from the salsa. All in 1 wrap!
• Breakfast Pizza: ½ English muffin, ¼ cup Plain Yogurt, Any cut-up fruit as a topping (blueberries, kiwi, strawberries, bananas, apples, etc)
o Who says you can’t have pizza at breakfast or have breakfast as a snack? Forget the pre-made pizzas. This pizza is natural, simple, and way different! Simply toast the English muffin, spread the yogurt on top, sprinkle with any or all of the above fruits. You’ve got an awesome powerhouse of a snack or double it for a meal!
• Homemade Trail Mix: Almonds, peanuts (for non-allergy kids), sunflower seeds, raisins, cranberries, dried apricots
o You can mix all these nuts and dried fruits together in a bag to carry it when on the road. By making it yourself, you can control which nuts and fruits go into the bag. I prefer to buy non-salted nuts to keep the sodium down.
These snacks are simple, fast, fun, and delicious. Enjoy the natural food. You’ll get more bang for your buck. Best of all, your kids can make them, too!
By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN