Snacks are an important part of a children’s growth. They have them mid-morning, after school and even before bed. You’ve got to be prepared when you are eating a clean diet. It is essential that you put in the effort to make sure that all the snacks are prepped and ready to go for the week.
Kid Friendly Clean Eating Snacks.
Changing from an ultra-processed, mainstream diet can make it seem impossible to provide snacks for your children. What snacks would be okay? Almost all of the snacks prior were pre-packaged snacks.
Well there are still some prepacked snacks that you can give your children, but now they are going to concentrate on a healthy theme instead of convenience.
Why the right snacks are important
Adults are not the only ones who benefit from a clean eating diet. This lifestyle is just plain healthy. Your kids will reap the rewards of changing as well. How?
It’ll keep them from getting overweight and not overeating. By taking out the bad processed food the trigger to stop eating will not be suppressed anymore and the toxins will work themselves out of their systems.
The way they feel after they’ve eaten will be different. They will no longer be irritable because of foods they are allergic to or because of the chemicals they’ve digested. They will also have less bloating and then they won’t feel that heavy full feeling when you’ve ate too much of the processed foods.
You’ll also notice a child with more energy. They won’t have anything weighing them down.
What do keep on hand
Once you get the hang of clean eating you’ll know what to keep on hand that your kids like. Until that time comes – here is a list of snacks that are great to keep in the cupboards and in the fridge (mostly the fridge!).
Fruits have so many benefits packed into them. Some of them are even considered superfoods like blueberries and have antioxidants in them.
Use what is in season and pick a variety to last throughout the week.
Like fruits vegetables are pack with nutrients and vitamins that they will get. These are essential to getting their body to work at its best.
Kids love to dip their snacks! There are plenty of dips that are out there that you can give to your children. Some of them are premade while others are packaged. Hummus, guacamole and salsa are still okay to feed them.
You’ll be cutting out a lot of dairy products, but you can still give them organic cheese and yogurt. These make excellent snacks for a growing kid.
Nuts have healthy fat that your kids need. Most children love nuts and they can be any type that you want – walnuts, Brazilian nuts, cashews, pistachios and almonds. Make sure they are not getting more than a serving though.
Other Kid Friendly Snack Ideas
Fruits – strawberries, mangos, pineapples, bananas, apples, peaches, nectarines, watermelon, honey dew, cantaloupe, pears
Vegetables – cucumbers, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, sweet potato (yes, cut them and eat them raw), tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peas, sweet peas, snap peas
Dips – guacamole, hummus, bean dip, almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, salsa
Dairy – yogurt, organic string cheese
Protein – homemade bars, balls or bites, beef jerky, granola, boiled eggs
What to use to make prepping easier
When you begin to prep your children’s weekly snacks, you’ll need to get your supplies ready. So what exactly are you going to need to make this easier?
You’ll want to buy both containers as well as zip lock baggies. Not only that, but you’ll want a variety of sizes. For snacks it is mostly the smaller sizes, but you should keep other sizes on hand just in case you need them while you’re prepping.
Containers you’ll want to take a look at are:
Plastic Containers with Lids
Find small individual containers with lids. These will be easy to grab after school and have a snack ready to go. It will also be convenient for school lunches.
You’ll also need some pint size ones for foods that are okay to add more than one and still be convenient like boiled eggs.
The Pyrex small containers with lids work really well for individual snacks. They fit the right amount of berries inside and since it is glass they will stay fresh longer.
Surprisingly Mason jars are a great way to prep and store your snacks. They stay fresh much longer than other containers and they have a tighter seal. You’d be surprised by how much time they can stay in the fridge.
You’ll want to look at several different sizes. The pint jars work for snacks, but you’ll want quart jars if you’re interested in putting jar salads in the refrigerator for the kids.
Sometimes your kids will want more than a snack. Providing a few salads will be a great alternative. Just make sure that you layer the salad correctly otherwise it will get soggy and your kids won’t eat it.
How to Prep Weekly Snacks
Now that you’ve got an idea of what snacks you can give your kids you’re going to make a weekly plan for snacks. Include what the snack will be and approximately how many you’ll think you need…then add some more!
Snacks seem to go quickly and you can never have too many. Get your kids involved. See what they want during the week. Also, have them help prep once you’ve done your shopping.
After you’ve made your list you’ll need to go shopping. Remember that by buying in large quantities you’ll save money. Costco and Sam’s Club will help if you live by one of those.
You can also go to local farmer’s markets. Very often they will sell in bulk.
When you get back from grocery shopping, you’ll want to prep everything for the week head. There are tips and techniques that you can use in order to make the process go quicker.
Here are some tips to remember:
Rinse and completely air dry the berries so that they do not get mushy inside the containers. If you don’t, then the moisture will make them go bad faster. Also you can place a folded paper towel on bottom of the glass jar.
They have a tool that you can use that will core and slice the apple in one motion. It is called an apple wedge cutter. You’ll find it easy to use and clean.
With apples you’ll need to soak them in lemon water to keep them fresh. The ratio to soak is 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of water.
By doing this you’ll be able to pre-cut them into wedges and not have to worry about the apples turning brown. A lot of kids won’t eat brown colored apples, so to save on the hassle of cutting that part off use this lemon water combo.
For fruits you’ll want to cut and cube all fruits and place them in containers. These are best if you use either the plastic or glass containers. This depends on what type of fruit it is.
Fruit will get squishy if you put it in Ziploc bags.
Make sure the pieces are not too big and can either be picked up by a fork or by the fingers and be eaten without choking. The size of the cut fruit will depend on what your child can handle and what they like.
Most vegetables can be put in a baggie. You’ll be able to slice these up into strips for the most part. Once they are sliced, you’ll add them to bags unless you plan to pair it with a dip.
If you’re using a dip then you can put the dips in a glass container.
Celery with nut butter is one example. Put it in a pint mason jar. The nut butter goes on the bottom with the celery standing upright. That way they can dip the celery easily and won’t get nut butter all over their fingers.
With dips you’ll either include them in with whatever you are going to be pairing them with like the example above or you’ll be putting them in their own jars.
One great example for a snack would be cucumbers and a mixed jar of salsa and guacamole. You’ll cut up the cucumbers and put them in a plastic bag. In a jar you’ll add salsa on one side and guacamole on the other.
Then your children would grab both and sit down to their snack.
6. Homemade Protein Bars & Bites
Protein will tide your child over until dinner and protein bars or bites are easy to make. There are several ways to make these, but they can either be stored in the freezer in a plastic bag or in the refrigerator.
7. Boiled Eggs
Boiled eggs are also a good protein source. You’ll either use a small plastic container that can easily fit two inside or a plastic bag. These are good to grab and go.
You can either make your own and store them in individual small containers with a lid or you could purchase these made. When purchasing make sure that they do not have more than five ingredients and that they are organic. Siggi’s is one that works for the clean eating lifestyle.
9. Premade Snacks
There are other premade snacks that you can purchase for snacks. You can find guacamole, peanut butter, yogurt, string cheese, apple slices and salsa. All of these are already premade and packaged.
When you go this route, make sure that they follow the principles of eating clean. But more and more companies are making products that make it convenient for parents to add them as snacks.
Prepping is the key to staying on track with a clean eating diet. Providing snacks that adhere to the guidelines can be tricky when you’re first starting out. With the ideas above it’ll be much easier for you to figure out what is allowed and how to get it prepped and in the fridge for snacks.
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