Every snack in this article can be found in our Vegan & Gluten-Free Snack Box (browse here).
After being home all day with the kids, we realize that they really never stop eating, do they? Double that if you have teens! So how do we feed these growing bodies with nutritious foods that they’ll actually eat? Stock your cupboards with these kid-friendly snack swaps and the next time they start grazing; they’ll find something good for them.
Chips, But Healthy
We all love a good crunchy snack and potato chips are so easy to just grab and go. But those are mostly empty calories packed with salt and often unhealthy fats. Try this instead: chips made with chickpeas, lentils, black beans, and veggies. They are filled with fiber, protein, and nutrients and taste just like their favorite chip. We love: Beanfield Pico De Gallo Chips and Veggie Straws. Pair with our easy Herby Greek Yogurt Dip (recipe below).
Like a Cookie but Better
So, let’s talk about those round sandwich cookies – we know delicious – but so much sugar and almost nothing nutritious. But we also know our kiddos sometimes have a craving for sweet and a cookie always fits the bill. Look for goodies that get their sweetness from fruit (like Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars) and are packed with naturally good ingredients like chickpeas (Rulebreaker Brownies).
Another cookie favorite we can’t live without are Maxine’s Heavenly Double Chocolate Cookies. These are filled with better-for-you alternatives like gluten-free oats, flaxseed, dates, and coconut sugar. Nutrient-rich and guilt-free, these cookies satisfy your sweet tooth and give you a great healthy afternoon pick me up.
Fruit Can Be Fun
How many of us have answered the prowling snacker with “have a banana instead”? Our kids know we want them to eat more fruit and veggies which is probably why they avoid it! If we make it easy to grab and go, they are more likely to take it. Spend a few minutes in the morning cutting up or cleaning fruit and veggies. Package up small servings so they can grab and go and add a dipper (peanut butter or sunflower butter or flavored cream cheese work great).
Don't deny the power of playing with food -- make funny shapes, create happy faces or cute figures with cutouts. It will get them to the table! And let them help create their own . . . when kids help in the kitchen, they're more inclined to eat what they make.
Another favorite we’ve found that fits the fruit bill is adding in some dried fruits – apricots, mangoes, bananas, or raisins. Let the kids make their own trail mix with granola chunks, chocolate chips (of course, we need chocolate), and nuts. Get them their own little container that they can fill up with their special concoction. This trail mix is also great on top of yogurt or mixed with cooked oatmeal.
Perfect for Movie Night
No snack list is complete without popcorn! If you pop your own (not microwave!) in a healthy fat oil, you already have a top-notch snack. Filled with fiber and low-calorie, this is a snack your kids can munch on anytime. For more convenience, try prepackaged popcorn from these companies: Live Love Pop and Lesser Evil – both companies offer ethically made popcorn that’s really good and every package gives back to the community.
Taste Good and Do Good
Most of the best snacks are made by the smallest companies – every snack listed above and all those that we include in our boxes are small businesses. And like us, they believe in giving back with every purchase. From environmental causes to education to health issues like Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer, these great partners are helping wherever they can. And we’re proud to stock them in all our boxes! Read more about them here.
Herby Greek Yogurt Dip Recipe
Plain Greek Yogurt (about 2 cups)
Large handful of fresh herbs (dill, basil, parsley, thyme), finely chopped – reserve some for garnish
Two cloves garlic, grated or mashed
1 tsp lemon juice
Large crystal salt (sea or Himalayan) to taste
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
Mix together and let sit for an hour or so to blend flavors. Right before serving, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped herbs. Also delicious as a veggie dip or sandwich spread.