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Rochester Local

Snack Time…Again!

buy in bulk, energy, feeding kids, Food, food prep, food rut, fruit, healthy snack, healthy snacks, meal planning, popcorn, smoothies, snacking, snacks, yogurt, snack, snack time

The concept of Meal Planning is all the talk these days, and all for good reason, but another mom recently shared with me that more than getting three meals planned and prepped each day, having healthier snacks for her kids is challenging for her family.  I immediately related – it can be so easy to grab the snack we know isn’t the greatest for our kids or, sometimes worst of all, just skip the snack all together.  

But snacking doesn’t have to be complicated for  frustrating.  After all, it’s just another food we eat at certain times of the day.  It can take more time or less time, depending on your snacking preferences, but it really is an important part of our diets.  We want our metabolisms to be healthy, and we all need to be nourished and energized.  I recommend buying and prepping in bulk as much as possible – it really takes a brief bit a time to have things ready to grab for the entire upcoming week.

This list works whether you’re planning for your upcoming vacation or thinking ahead to the school year. Toss a few of these items onto your grocery list and you’ll have healthy snack options for you and your family all week long.

I won’t pretend these are particularly unique suggestions, they’re just meant to inspire variety and help us out when we enter into another one of those dreaded “food ruts.”

  • Popcorn
    This one is great for on-the-go.  Portion it out into bags/containers and you’re all set to sit down to do homework or head out to the park.
    If you make a big batch of your own, you could add sea salt, melted coconut oil, melted (real) butter, nuts/seeds, dark chocolate chips, etc.
  • Fruit
    Strawberries, Raspberries, Watermelon, Blueberries, Bananas, Apples, Pears, Peaches, Nectarines, Cherries, Grapes, Avocados, Apricots, Oranges, and the list goes on.  Simple!  
    And even less messy is dried fruit (just aim for a “no added sugar” variety whenever possible), which is particularly good for snacking on in the winter months.
    –>Bonus points if you add a healthy fat to this snack for better digestion (nuts/seeds/butters/avocado are our favorite additions).

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  • Full-Fat Cheese
    String cheese, thick cheese slices, etc.
  • Full-Fat Yogurt
    Greek varieties tend to be highest in protein, and it’s generally best to keep the added sugar at bay as much as possible.  There are also great options for those of us who can’t have dairy, several stores in Rochester now sell delicious yogurts made from coconut milk.
  • Kefir
    Similar to yogurt but drinkable – just do what you can to find a variety that’s low in added sugar and is full-fat kefir.
  • Beans
    This one might sound strange, but some kids surprisingly really like beans for snacking, especially chickpeas/garbanzo beans.  You can pop them right out of the can, make your own, or find them seasoned and roasted in the snacking aisles of most grocery stores.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs
    It takes 15 minutes to make a large batch, which can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.  We like to slice them and sprinkle salt and pepper over the top if we’re eating them at home.
  • Avocado Toast
    As easy at it sounds – toast a good slice of bread and top it with mashed avocado (sea salt or tomato slices for extra yum).  While this is a great one, its downside is it’s really only an at-home snack.
  • Snack Bars
    Our family favorites are Larabars, KIND bars, Rx bars, the Trader Joe’s brand bars (including their dried fruit bars), and occasional homemade snack bars/balls.  I just recommend always reading the ingredients list before choosing a bar.
  • Deli Meat Slices or Jerky 
    If you’re not excited about the meat on all on its own, you could easily combine it with cheese and/or crackers.
  • Veggies & Dip
    Veggies (carrots, celery, snap peas, broccoli, grape tomatoes, cucumber, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.) + Dip (hummus, peanut butter, almond butter, salsa, etc.) = Easy, Fun for kids, Crunchy, and Healthful.
  • Tortilla Chips & Salsa or Guacamole 
  • Pickles
  • Pitted Olives
    While not as cost-effective as buying a whole jar at a time, Trader Joe’s also sells individual to-go packets of olives, and both my son and I love snacking on these when we’re out and about.
  • Smoothies
    This can be as simple as buying a Naked brand juice or as “complicated” as making your own.  The latter is more cost-effective and will have more fiber, but you do what you need to do, mama.  Making one can be as simple as blending together a banana, peanut butter, and milk, or blending together some leafy greens, frozen fruit, and orange juice/coconut water.
  • Chips
    Okay, I fully realize this doesn’t sound like the healthiest option, and maybe it isn’t, but this can make an awesome snack from time-to-time.  As with all processed foods, be sure to check the ingredients list so you can avoid unwanted add-ins, then go ahead and choose your best option.  We really like plantain chips, tortilla chips, sea salt potato chips, sweet potato chips, and snap pea crisps.
  • Chocolate
    A little dark chocolate or some dark chocolate chips are a sweet treat few would complain about.  Your money can go further by buying the large bag (of course) of dark chocolate chips from Costco or buying 3-oz dark chocolate bars and enjoying a few squares per serving.
  • Homemade Baked Goods
    Muffins, scones, peanut butter oatmeal balls, bars, cookies, etc.  Make a big batch one day and have them around for the rest of the week.  As Michael Pollan says, “Eat all the ‘junk food’ you want as long as you make it yourself.”  

Happy Snacking!

snack, snack time, buy in bulk, energy, feeding kids, Food, food prep, food rut, fruit, healthy snack, healthy snacks, meal planning, popcorn, smoothies, snacking, snacks, yogurt

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