Kids Snack Hacks

By Hannah Stafford – Gleaners Nutrition Education Team

Looking for healthy snack ideas you can throw into kids’ lunchboxes, give them after school or grab on the go?

Pack more nutrition punch into snacks, and cut the cost compared to buying packaged, by following these simple ideas:

Super-fast 1-minute snacks, for when they can’t wait!

  • Apple peanut butter sandwiches. Slice an apple and spread peanut butter in between two slices and you’re good to go!
  • DIY trail mix. Throw together a handful of dry wholegrain cereal of your choice, add a sprinkling of raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips or other dried fruit and nuts.

Got a little more time? These 3-minute snacks will satisfy hungry kids!

  • Smoothies – whiz up frozen fruit with yogurt, milk and a little honey
  • Toasted pita pockets – fill with low fat cream cheese and cucumber slices
  • Fruit skewers – alternate chopped fruit with squares of cheese. Food is more fun on a stick!
  • Banana sushi – take a wholewheat tortilla, spread with peanut butter, wrap round a banana and slice for a sushi-style snack.

Got time to plan ahead? Try making these snacks in advance, to grab later!

  • Popcorn – kids can choose their own toppings.
  • Fruit leather – make your own version of a fruit roll up by baking fruit puree slow and low.
  • No bake oat bars – combining whole grain oats with peanut butter, honey and coconut oil to make a satisfying snack bar

If you’re planning on packing a snack to be eaten later in the day, choose options that are made from ingredients from your pantry (shelf-stable) and not your refrigerator.

When pre-packaged snacks are the only option, look for ones around 100-150 calories, with whole grains as the first ingredient and ideally containing more than one food group. That way you’ll help keep kids fuller for longer while helping provide the daily nutrients that their growing bodies and minds need.

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