I have a love-hate relationship with snacks — love to eat them, but hate to make them. Snacks are an inescapable part of having a young child, however. Even though the French parenting books tell you to avoid the snacks in order to preserve mealtimes, American schools ask that you pack a snack for your kiddos. My daughter had previously been in daycare, and while I packed her a lunch, the center provided two snacks per day. Now that she’s in preschool, snack packing falls on me. It’s usually the last thing I’m thinking about as we’re rushing out the door. While I would love to send her with a nutritious, homemade snack every day, she usually gets something pre-packaged. And it’s more or less the same every day.
I eat my fair share of pre-packaged snacks as well, and for convenience, they are tough to beat. But it’s a struggle to get my daughter to: 1) eat vegetables, and 2) eat food that I’ve cooked. Holla if you’re with me! My hope is that if I give her snacks that meet those two criteria, maybe she’ll be more open to those foods during mealtimes as well. A girl can dream, right? So I took to the internet to find some snack inspiration:
Fruit and vegetable chips
I was in my favorite chain coffee shop a few weeks ago and spotted a bag of apple chips. “Ah, that would be a good snack!” I thought. Instead of paying $4 for a bag, you can make these apple chips at home for a fraction of the cost. You may even have a few apples laying around after that trip to the orchard you took a few weeks ago!
Vegetable chips are just as easy. I plan to try these herbed butternut squash chips in a month or so when squash are in season.
Protein is also on the list of things my daughter refuses to eat. Hummus is a sneaky way to add some extra protein to her diet. Edamame hummus and avocado hummus are two great variations on the old standby. Serve with crackers, pita chips, or raw veggies.
If you prefer whole chickpeas to mashed, roast them! I have a surplus of nutritional yeast, so I plan to try these Cheetos-style chickpeas, but you could also roast them up with cinnamon sugar or za’atar.
Muffins are a delicious way to sneak in some extra fruits and veggies. Lunchbox harvest muffins are made with whole wheat flour, apple, carrot, and zucchini. For a treat, I’ve made dark chocolate Greek yogurt banana muffins. Shhh. They’re actually kinda healthy.
This is a start to adding a little snacking diversity into our lives, and maybe into yours also. I’ll certainly grow this list over time, and I plan to be a snack pro by the time my infant is ready for school. If you have great go-to recipes, share them here!