Coming up with new and healthy snack ideas day after day can be frustrating. While you want to introduce different tastes, textures, and ingredients into your child’s diet, you also need reliable snack ideas that you can whip up in a pinch. Keep these ten healthy ingredients in your kitchen at all times, and you’ll never come up short.
- Bananas. Packed with potassium and antioxidants, bananas are considered a superfood for good reason. Kids love their sweetness, and they’re easy to layer on toast with peanut butter, bake into muffins or bread, or serve on their own or as part of a fruit salad.
- Refrigerated Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. Kids love pizza, and whole wheat dough makes pizza a healthy snack option. Don’t have time to make dough? Most supermarkets carry refrigerated pizza dough, which is easy to roll out and grill with healthy veggie toppings.
- Hummus. Made with chickpeas, hummus packs protein and fiber, as well as vitamins and antioxidants. It’s incredibly versatile, making a great spread on crackers or toast, or a dip for veggies. Remember that some hummus contains tahini, which is made from sesame seeds, so if there are allergies in your household, you can make your own version by mixing only chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and cumin in the food processor.
- Guacamole. Like hummus, guacamole is superversatile. Made with avocado, it’s full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, and kids who love Mexican food will never turn it down. Serve it with veggie sticks, or multigrain chips or crackers.
- Eggs. Want to add more omega-3s to your child’s diet? Eggs are a great way to get that essential fatty acid, along with a whopping dose of protein. Kids love hem deviled or hard-boiled, both of which are easy to pack up and take on the go. Or choose mini-quiches or frittatas. Remember to add veggies for extra vitamins and antioxidants!
- Peanut Butter or Sunbutter. PB&J is a classic for a reason. Spread peanut butter on toast, serve it up with jelly in a sandwich, or use it as a dip for veggies or apples. If your child is allergic, sunflower butter can be a great substitute.
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes taste great when paired with a variety of ingredients. Stuff them with parmesan and basil for a classic Italian flavor. Halve cherry tomatoes and toss with feta and cucumber for a Greek spin. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants including lycopene.
- Whole Wheat Puff Pastry. Many whole food and health food stores now stock frozen puff pastry in its whole wheat variety, which contains more fiber and nutrients. Roll broccoli and cheddar into some puff pastry and bake for a delicious snack. Sub out broccoli for zucchini and cheddar for mozzarella for variety.
- Oatmeal. A breakfast staple, oatmeal is a versatile ingredient that can be baked into bars, muffins, cookies, and cake, and adds fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to any sweet treat.
- Tofu. Tofu is loaded with lean protein, and can serve as a blank slate to which you can add nearly any savory flavor. It works well in stir frys with veggies, or on its own in marinated little cubes at snack time. It’s easily packable, too!
What items do you always have on hand for snack time? Let us know in the comments section!