School’s out for the summer, and that means kids will be in and out of the house all day long, looking for snacks in between meals. Giving kids things to munch between meals doesn’t have to mean creating an unhealthy diet, and it doesn’t mean spending hours in the kitchen coming up with elaborate finger food. It might seem easier to give the little ones prepackaged foods, but with the right creative ideas you can save both time and money when feeding your kids between meals.
Go with the Classics
Some snacks have been around for decades and for a good reason: they’re universally loved by generations of kids. These time-tested snacks taste good while giving your children a healthy burst of vitamins, without too much sugar or chemicals.
- Ants on a log: fill celery sticks with peanut butter, dairy-free cream cheese or hummus and sprinkle on a few raisins or other dried fruit bits
- PB&J: Use homemade bread, tortillas or other creative bread varieties to give this classic sandwich a different spin
- Fruit kabobs: kids love finger food and a colorful variety of fruit cubes on skewers make the perfect refreshing afternoon snack
- Non-dairy cheese and crackers: cut slices of dairy free-cheese into perfect little rounds or squares to fit the crackers and let kids have fun making and eating tiny sandwiches
What kid doesn’t like eating snacks with their fingers? Add a tasty dip and you’ve got the perfect combination of between-meal foods for your little ones. Nut butter makes a ideal dip for apple slices or pretzels. Try hummus with all sorts of veggie dippers like pepper slices, cucumber rounds and carrot sticks. Warm non-dairy cheese dip goes well with bread cubes and vegetable pieces, while just about any fruit tastes great dipped in any type of dairy-free yogurt.
If you or your kids are bored with the same old snacks, kick up the interest a bit by creating these tasty new treats.
- Make banana pops by cutting bananas in half and putting a popsicle stick in each half. Coat each banana with dairy-free yogurt and roll it in granola, chopped nuts or coconut flakes. Lay the pops on a cookie sheet that’s been lined with waxed paper, and freeze.
- Cool off any kid with chilly fruit smoothies. Mix together their favorite fruits, a handful of ice cubes and some sneaky avocado or spinach (they’ll never know!) Add a spoonful of dairy-free yogurt for a creamier treat and serve them with a fancy straw.
- Turn tortillas into fun sandwich rollups: spread tortillas with dairy-free cream cheese, nut butter, hummus or any other type of dip. Sprinkle on coconut flakes, dried fruits like raisins or cranberries, and dust with cinnamon or sea salt for a flavor kick. For a savory treat, use dairy free cream cheese and chopped veggies for a crunchy snack.
- Give budding architects a fun snack to build with by giving them a plate of various dairy-free cheese cubes, a bowl of green and red grapes, and a pile of toothpicks. See what great creations they can make before giving in to temptation and eating their building supplies.
- When kids are inside watching a movie or having a sleepover, there’s nothing like sharing a big plate of healthy nachos between friends. Pile on black beans, salsa, non-dairy cheese, avocado, onion and any other Mexican flavor you like. Bake until the cheese is gooey and you’ll have a festive snack for a crowd.
Busy parents can be the most creative people in the world. What are your healthy go-to snacks for kids on summer vacation?