How to Keep the Kids' Snack Time from Ruining Your Life

Find out how one mom keeps her kids' snack time simple and streamlined with go-to eats for her little ones.

By: Foodlets
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Breakfast, lunch and dinner are one thing. I knew I’d be on the hook for those the moment I saw my first ultrasound (and my second, third and fourth). But adding snacks — two snacks — every day almost pushed me over the edge. It seemed like every time I got the kitchen counter shoveled off from the previous meal, some short person would trot up asking, “Is it snack time yet?” Instead of tossing a box of gummy fruits to the crowd and letting them fend for themselves, I started getting strategic. Here’s what I do to create a varied snack plan full of (mostly) whole foods (pretty) easily:

1. Make a Batch of Freezer-Friendly Muffins: I usually have a couple of kinds of veggie-packed muffins in my freezer. Set your premade muffins on the counter at breakfast and they’ll be thawed by snack time — or just pop them in the microwave at the last second. Try: Pumpkin Muffins 

2. Yogurt Parfaits: For a crowd with varied tastes, try a container of plain yogurt plus a few nutritious toppings. Nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, frozen blueberries, honey … Let each person add whatever he or she likes.

3. No-Bake Balls and Bars: Full of nuts, dried fruit and good-for-you add-ins like chia and flax seeds, the beauty of these is their speed. It’ll take you 5 minutes to put them together — and kids can help. Store them in the fridge and distribute throughout the week. Our favorites: No-Bake Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bars

4. Chia Seed Pudding and Strawberry "Applesauce": Throwing a cup of milk and a quarter cup of chia seeds with a little honey into a bowl before bed means an instant snack the next morning. For a fruity option, blend a cup of berries before adding the chia seeds and let it set overnight. The result is a very healthy bowl of sweet and juicy fruit that beats applesauce any day. Try: Our Strawberry-Chia Seed Blend

5. Protein-Rich Popsicles: The trouble with popsicles as a snack is they don’t stick with you. Try a mix of milk or plain yogurt plus pureed fruit to keep kids fuller longer. (Or freeze either of the chia seed mixtures above!) Our favorites: Blackberry Creamsicle Pops

6. Veggies and Dip Contest: Since most kids don’t eat enough vegetables, this one’s a favorite — and it’s easy. Set out baby carrots, a few sliced cucumbers, peppers or whatever you have and add two or three “sauces”: salad dressings, hummus or, again, whatever you have. Let the kids mix and match to come up with the winning combinations. Try: Ina Garten’s Homemade Hummus

7. Don’t Underestimate Plain Fruit: Regular fruit. A banana. Apples, oranges, grapes — anything you can just hand a kid is an excellent snack at home or on the go. If you want to get fancier, cut up a pineapple, kiwis or melon and serve the kids right from the cutting board. Authentic!

Charity Curley Mathews is the founder of Mini Foodies in the Making…Maybe. You can find her fresh recipes for kids on Facebook and Pinterest.

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