Having a solid, healthy snack routine can mean the difference between an idyllic day at the zoo and a tantrum-filled drag that minimizes your sanity. There is no question about it, when you’re out with kids they’re going to get hungry. And you’re not different, sometimes lunch just isn’t enough to get you through your afternoon at work. You can either anticipate the need to snack and feel like you’re winning at life or let it catch you off guard or rely on another bag of gas station pretzels.
So, now that you’ve resolved to up your snack game, let’s talk about what sort of snacks are going to support your family’s health. One of the reasons we snack is because we feel our blood sugar drop, resulting in hunger and low energy. Plus, as every parent knows, kids are picky and don’t always eat well at every meal, so they may be legitimately hungry and irritable when they ask for a snack.
What Does a Healthy Snack Look Like?
In a perfect world, your family would fill up at every meal with nutritious foods like fish, broccoli, quinoa and eggs. But since that’s probably not happening, let’s talk about what you should be looking for in a healthy snack.
Low Sugar: Many of today’s easy-access snacks are loaded with sugar, so read the label before purchasing and look for minimal or naturally processed sugars or opt for a natural sweetener like stevia or local honey.
Whole Grain: If you’re going for a grain-based snack, look for whole wheat flour or other whole grains as the first ingredient.
Minimal Ingredients and Processing: The fewer the ingredients and the easier they are to read, the better your odds of getting a healthy snack.
Protein: Kids don’t always eat the protein provided at meals and to be honest, moms don’t always get a chance to eat breakfast and lunch. This is why having protein-packed snacks is so important when you’re on the go.
10 Great Options For Healthy Snacks On The Go
Nuts: Packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats, moms and kids alike should be reaching for nuts at snack time. Of course, be sensitive to families who may have food allergies and check if you’re going to be playing with a new friend.
Snack Bars: Many companies like VEGA make healthy, nutritious snack bars – ready to toss in your purse or backpack. Snack bars often offer a natural blend of everything you’re looking for in a healthy snack including natural sugars, protein and whole grains.
Easy To Grab Fruit: When you’re thinking about fruit on the go, apples, clementines and even grapes are a great choice.
Sliced Veggies and Hummus Cups: Okay this one is a little fussy, but if you have time to slice some peppers or carrots and toss em in a bag, your kids will get a one-two punch of protein and fiber.
Dried Fruit: Dried or freeze dried fruit is easy to grab and stores well, getting you vitamins and fiber with a longer shelf-life.
Popcorn: If you haven’t invested in a simple air-popper, now’s the time to do it. These easy to use machines are kid friendly and produce fresh popcorn quickly and affordably.
Homemade Snack Mix: Toss some dried fruit, pretzels and nuts in a bag and you have a easy, ready made snack mix. It’s always a good idea to make a few extra for those last minute snack-emergencies.
Applesauce Pouches: Applesauce and other fruit blends are an easy way to grab a healthy snack without any fuss.
Yogurt: Cups of yogurt are more of a sit down snack, but don’t forget that natural greek yogurts also come in kid-friendly, squeezable tubes. Store them in the fridge and toss them in before you leave for a protein-packed snack with just the right amount of sweetness.
Cheese Sticks: String cheese and cheese sticks are a kid-favorite snack that’s easy to grab. It packs a dose of calcium and protein and can be the perfect pairing with crackers or pretzels.
What are your go-to healthy snacks? Let us know in the comments below!