The recipe and photography for this post was provided by Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.
As a mom of two young boys, I am no stranger to snacks. During the summer months, when camp and sports have them on-the-go nearly all day long, my kids seem hungrier than ever (and incessantly asking for food). In an effort to save time (and my sanity) during busy summer weeks, I like to prep a few healthy snacks my kids and their friends can serve themselves after camp, before practice or anytime hunger strikes.
In this post I’m sharing an easy formula for building healthy snacks for kids, tips for prepping snacks in advance, and three of our favorite sharable summer snack recipes.
A Healthy Snack Formula for Kids
What kids eat between main meals should be generally nutritious and contribute to their daily nutrient needs, so I like to think of snacks as “mini meals.”
To keep kids energized until their next meal, I recommend including protein or a healthy fat at each snack, paired with a source of fiber. (Full disclosure: this does not always happen in my house, but we try our best and I don’t sweat it.)
Our Favorite Combinations:
- String cheese and whole grain crackers
- Yogurt and whole grain granola
- Hummus and vegetable sticks or multigrain tortilla chips
- Hard-boiled egg and pear slices
- Yogurt and fruit smoothie
- Nut butter and apple or celery
- Avocado on whole grain toast
- Popcorn cooked in coconut oil or olive oil
Best Kids Snacks to Prep Ahead
When it comes to make-ahead snacks, I like to prep foods that are easy to grab and eat but also double as sides for lunch or dinner so nothing goes to waste. Vegetable sticks and watermelon slices and hummus or yogurt ranch dip can be used in multiple ways throughout the week.
A big batch of hearty trail mix ( see below) is perfect to have on hand for a quick, portable snack that can be packed up for car rides or pool days. Plus, it’s a great way to use up the last bits of cereal, nuts and dried fruit you have in the pantry.
Because my kids go crazy for frozen grapes or yogurt popsicles (see below) on hot days, a healthy freezer snack is usually in the rotation.