For me, snacks are either the easiest thing in the world to pull together or the most difficult to prepare. For breakfast, (most) lunches, and dinner we pretty much aim to be at home, at the table and have meals as a family (or with one parent at least). But on-the-go snacks are a different story.
We try to spend time outside as much as possible and between that, playgroups, and other chores, most of the time snacks need to be "on-the-go". And there's just so much more to think about when preparing snacks to take with you.
You need something that can be served hot or cold and doesn't need to be refrigerated or heated up before serving. It needs to be appropriate for your child to eat anywhere and ideally with their hands. That means nothing too messy or easy to choke on. And of course don't forget nutritious, filling, and tasty. Long list, right?
In my experience, prepping food in advance (whenever it is that you actually have time) and in some cases freezing batches of snacks is a game-changer. Most of the snacks can be taken out of the freezer when you go out and they thaw within the hour so you don't even have to think very far ahead.
And on those days when you don't have anything you made earlier, you really need something that you can prepare quickly and with few ingredients (and few utensils that you have to clean up).
What About Variety?
Don't beat yourself up if you have just one or two snacks that you take with you each and every time. If they are nutritious and tasty then it's all your child really needs. Yes, variety is great and it's good for them to get used to different flavors, but if you are reading this then I bet you are already providing a good range of foods in other meals. So you can give yourself a break at snack time. In the end, kids need sane parents far more than they need 10 "on-the-go" snack options.
That being said, if you want to add a few new options to your repertoire, here are 3 of our favorites that we make pretty often.
Broccoli Cheese Cakes
This recipe is best prepared in advance but once you have, you can freeze a big batch for later. That's because the broccoli needs to be cooked or steamed beforehand but trust me, it's worth it.
They taste great, are super easy to grab and eat (even for tiny hands) and provide a nutritionally balanced snack that will keep hunger away for ages. And with all the vegetables, they have a ton of micronutrients as well.
Plus, if you have some leftover broccoli from another meal, you can prep them in no time. It bakes for about 30-40 mins and needs 20 mins to cool – enough for you to get on with any other chores you might have (and let's face it, we always have them) or just rest and drink a cup of coffee while the kids are napping (?).
If you are freezing them, just make sure you cut them up in advance so it's easy to grab as many as you want, whenever you want them!
The Tastiest Oat Cake
This is one of our newer recipes, but it's really tasty, nutritious and versatile as you can pretty much take it anywhere you like. But the real advantage here is that you just take all the ingredients, mix them together in one bowl or blender and simply pour into a baking tin. After about 15 minutes you have yourself a great snack for any adventure you have planned that day.
I love on-the-go snacks like this because they're filling, tasty, and dry so I can give them to my son in a stroller and not worry about the clean-up job after.
Like the Broccoli Cheese Cakes, the Oat Cake can also be prepared well in advance and frozen. It can also be stored in the fridge for about 3 days so you can prepare it over the weekend and have a healthy snack ready to go when Monday hits.
The Easiest Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie
Some people might not think of smoothies as snacks, but for me, anything nutritious that you can give your child to eat/drink in between main meals counts. Especially if it is full of nutrients and calorie-dense like this Peanut Butter Smoothie.
My favorite thing about it is that it can be prepped literally 2 mins before you leave the house (and in my case often is). I always have the ingredients in the kitchen, my son loves it and I can easily put in as many oats as I think he needs depending on how much he's eaten that day.
What are your go-to on-the-go snacks?
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