Packaged snack foods tempt us everywhere! It’s all too easy to pop a bag of chips or those cute mini cookies into lunchboxes and brown bags in the morning or succumb to a candy bar around 3 p.m., but with a small investment of time and effort, you can make much healthier choices for yourself and your family. Choose from our list of ready-to-go whole-food snacks, or try some of these ultra-quick tasty recipes (ready in under 5 minutes) to keep everyone going all day long.
7 Ultra-Quick Fun Snacks for Kids
- Fruity Kebabs: Spear chunks of pineapple, cucumber, orange and/or grapes on toothpicks; include a small cup of sugar-free yogurt for dipping.
- Happy Trails Mix: Combine equal parts popcorn and whole-grain unsweetened cereal; add a small handful of orange-flavored dried cranberries.
- Chips & Dip: Pack up a small bag of baked tortilla chips; include a separate container of salsa you’ve spiked with shredded Cheddar cheese for dipping.
- Do-It-Yourself Mini Stackers: Provide whole-grain crackers, 1-inch squares of sliced roast turkey breast and cucumber rounds in separate containers. Let your child stack her own “sandwiches.”
- Mini Rice-Cake Sandwiches: Spread peanut butter between mini rice cakes.
- Taco Bites: Provide separate containers of mini taco shells (preferably trans-fat-free), low-fat bean dip, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese and salsa.
- Ham “Sushi”: Spread turkey-ham lunchmeat with a thin layer of reduced-fat cream cheese. Sprinkle with shredded carrot and roll into a cylinder; slice crosswise into “sushi.”
- Petite Pitas: Fill mini whole-wheat pitas with hummus, shredded lettuce and chopped tomato. Drizzle with Italian dressing; wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
7 Ready-to-Pack Healthy Snacks
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup unsweetened whole-grain cereal
- 1 ounce peanuts or almonds
- Small can low-sodium mixed-vegetable juice
- Small box of raisins
- Reduced-fat string cheese stick
- Fresh fruit: in-season apple, orange, pear, banana
- Low-fat yogurt