Snacks have come a long way from when I was a child. The only processed snack time treat I was ever allowed was the occasional bowl of gold fish crackers. Otherwise, it was fresh fruit, nuts, sometime I baked, or nothin'. Now children (and adults) are fed a fast-food, quick snack diet of processed carbohydrates and sugars.
After ridding our home of sweets and junk several years ago, I found myself searching for a healthy alternative for snacks. Here are several of our healthy, in-between meals, stomach fillers:
Dried fruits and nuts. Easy and simple. We usually purchase many pounds of "non-store shelf quality" organic apples and spend days drying and canning them. So, I usually have plenty of dried apples on hand! The fruits and nuts store very well through the winter months. A great staple to have on hand, especially if you find a great deal on fresh apples and want to stock up!
Pretzels and mustard. I have no idea how this tradition started, but all of my children love the combination of pretzels dipped in mustard. By the way, pretzels are fun and fairly easy to make!
Fruit Salad. We usually make a quick fruit salad when we have a few fruits on hand that are nearing the end of their freshness stage. It also comes in handy when you have odds and ends of your fruits left over. Try dividing 13 grapes up among 9 children...
Frozen Grapes. Speaking of grapes.......again, if you run into a great organic deal, you can freeze extra grapes to eat later. My children love them right out of the freezer. A nice treat for a hot day!
Fruit Kabobs. Way fun and easy for little ones to assemble. You can even make a learning game out of it and gather several fruits related to the various colors of the rainbow.
Pita Chips and Mango Salsa. One of my favorites. It's refreshing, sweet, and I promise to post my recipe. Soon. Promise...
Fruit and Yogurt. Make a dip out of your yogurt, or mix a bowl of berries and yogurt as the dressing. Yum!
Peanut Butter and Apples. A classic. You can't go wrong.
Ants on a Log. One of my girls' favorite treats to make for the littles. You fill a piece of celery with cream cheese or peanut butter, and then place raisins on top. Just like ants on a log. ;)
Homemade Cheese Crackers. I actually made little cheese crackers. The twins helped me cut them out and bake them. It was work, but not any more than one would go through to made sugar cookies. I made a large batch, and then we cut out tiny little square and circle shapes. About 2" in width and diameter. Turned out pretty good, and they stored better than I expected. You could probably freeze them if necessary, but they didn't last long around here.
Bread, Butter, and Jam. On bread making day, my children come from all corners of the house and just sit in the kitchen. Some will actually go find the butter and jam in order to prepare for the hot-from-the-oven slices. Of course, this isn't the best healthy snack, but I baked the bread, we made the organic butter, and cooked up the homemade jam. Makes me feel a little better...
Trail Mix. I keep a jar of mixed nuts, dried fruit, and sunflower seeds in the pantry. It's also an easy grab for when we are heading out of the house and need a quick, take-along snack.
Organic Cereal O's. While my little ones are still pretty small, the organic O cereals are easy for their little fingers and soften up quickly. My favorite are the Fruitful O's from Cascadian Farm Organic. The O's are colored with elderberry juice, pumpkin juice, and apple juice.
Granola. I make granola, for cereal, but the children enjoy throwing some in a bowl and snacking on it.
Granola Bars. There are many organic companies that make granola bars. They can be expensive, so we save them for car trips, or special park days.
Cheese and crackers. Pretty simple. And no, not Ritz and squeeze cheese. Gross.
Popcorn. We buy organic colored popcorn in bulk. To be exact, 25 pounds at a time. My husband has several popcorn concoctions that are really good! Another promised recipe to share.
Home-baked cookies. Again, not the most healthy, but we do make all of our baked goods from whole grains, and all-natural, organic ingredients. It's nice to have a warm cookie and a glass of raw jersey milk as a treat.
Fruit. Just plain ol' fruit. Many times, in the afternoon, when my children head out to play, they rarely ask for a snack. In all seriousness, I will find them snacking on green beans and cherry tomatoes right from the garden. You can't ask for a more healthy snack! Right now, the citrus trees are ripe, and I have found orange peels scattered on the ground outside. Thank the Lord for a good harvest.
Fruit Smoothies. Another idea for frozen and over-ripe fruit. Add a banana, some frozen berries, a little apple juice, maybe some ice, and you have a nice, filling, healthy snack.
Carrots, Celery, and Dressing. My husband makes dressings that are to die for. All natural, organic, and made from yogurt and homemade mayo. We keep a container of cut up celery and carrots in our refrigerator most of the time. It's easy to snack on, with or without the dressing!
Pinterest. Pinterest is a good place to find fun snack recipes. If you aren't already a follower of Homestead Journey, you can find me here!
What are some of your healthy, wholesome snacks?