Kids be snacking, amirite? Amidst all of the disruptions and uncertainty of this fall, it can be really grounding to focus on some fundamental certainties of life – the sun will rise, the wind will blow, and kids will want snacks. And contrary to what some of us were told when we were growing up, it seems like snacking is actually part of a healthy diet – growing kids need energy, and rather than pursuing a “clean your plate” mentality that can encourage over-eating and lead them to ignore the way they’re feeling, providing good and healthy between-meals options can really improve physical and mental well-being (as well as decrease the frequency of melt-downs).
Bear in mind, we’re definitely not advocating a diet of 24-hour potato chips and pizza. Ideally, snacks should be a good balance of healthy ingredients and a discrete portion – so the littles can get a good dose of nutrients, finish the snack, and get on with their lives. Here’s a few of our go-to high-energy, low-effort snacks that can be easily packed for school or playdates, or made ahead for remote learning or in-bubble playdates:
Apple slices with nut or seed butter – a classic for good reason, apple slices with a nut or seed butter taste great and deliver an extremely healthy combination of fibre and protein. The apples can brown if left too long, but that can be remedied with the application of lemon water (or ginger ale, apparently!). And an added bonus is that if the littles in question are big enough to safely operate a butter knife, they can make this snack for themselves!
Carrot sticks and hummus – food is better when it’s crunchy, and it’s hard to beat the delicious crunch of a good carrot stick. Hummus (or any other bean- or veggie-based dip) is delicious and an ideal thing to dip into – with the added bonus that it’s not sticky. Just bear in mind that if you’re sending this snack out of the home, check ahead if there are any issues with sesame – as tahini (made with sesame seeds) is one of the traditional ingredients of hummus.
Celery with Cream Cheese – a variation of the classic ‘celery with peanut butter’, this is a great option for nut-free folks (or just to shake things up). It requires refrigeration (or a cooler bag), but the crunchy celery and creamy cheese go very well together – and you can also include a variety of seeds or sweet and savoury toppings for the little to sprinkle themselves – so that every bite can be different!
Made Good Granola Bars – Simple is good, and it’s hard to argue with the simplicity of these delicious granola bars. Made just a few blocks away from The Sweet Potato, they are organic, nut-free and school safe, and come in seven amazing flavours. Plus each bar contains 20% (aka a full serving) of the daily recommended intake of a number of key nutrients, thanks to all of the vegetables that are implausibly contained in these amazing bars!