Thursday, January 5, 2012


I don't know about your kiddos but mine seem to be little grazers.  I love that they don't overeat or have issues knowing when to stop eating.  They eat what they need and then they are done.  Period.  End of discussion.  This can obviously be so frustrating at times as the parent.  You've made a meal it's awesome, you've put a lot of work into, your proud, and then a little nose (or two) turns up to it and says "I'm not hungry."  Grrrrrr....  But then I stop and remind myself they aren't going to starve.  They really will eat when they are hungry.  I remind myself that some days I'm hungrier  than others.  Some days I don't feel much like eating dinner.  The question is will I listen and honor this in my body?
Somewhere along the way lots of us have learned to eat even when were not hungry.  We overeat because we are frustrated, tired, sad, happy, depressed, lonely, anxious, _____.  It seems most kids haven't learned this yet.  In watching my girls it seems they have an amazing awareness of their bodies and what they need, even before they can vocalize it.  I try hard to honor my girls rhythms of eating.  Allowing them to eat when they are hungry and not forcing them to eat when they aren't.  Our pediatrician often says there are 3 things you cannot make a child do.  You cannot make them go potty on the big potty. You cannot make them go to sleep.  You cannot make them eat.  Do I get frustrated? Yep.  Do I sometimes forget to remind myself of these things so that I can have grace with them? Yep.  Does it seem overwhelming some days? Yep.

This brings me to snacks.  I go back and forth with the thoughts of snacks.  Maybe if they just ate 3 square meals a day they would eat their meals better.  I've tried this theory and no matter what my girls have had for breakfast (which is usually their biggest meal of the day) they are hungry mid-morning and asking for a snack.  I honestly don't have a strong aversion to snacks but I have decided that I will make snack time as wholesome and whole-food based as possible. It's easy to see why packaged foods are so popular for snacks.  It's easy. Not to much thought or prep has to go into it.  I get it.  I also realize that sometimes my girls eat snacks and then they eat a much lighter meal.  My thought is that I am going to have snacks that are just as wholesome as a meal.  That way when little tummies start grumbling, I can provide an easy, whole-food based option.  And then you know what, if they don't eat as much lunch or dinner, no worry. They've had a nutrient dense snack and I'm happy with that.  I've started planning for snacks in my grocery shopping.  Thinking ahead and making a snack plan for the week.  It may sound silly but if I plan ahead, when it comes around to snack time I know I have some easy, nutritious options available and don't have to stand staring into my cupboards or fridge wondering what I should toss together.

I'd like to offer you a snack list divided into a few different categories.  A few of these snacks are linked to previous posts.  There are options for kiddos of all ages.  Some of these are easy, on-the-go snacks while some are a little messier and you'd want to eat at home kind of snacks.  Some are things that require some cooking and/or prepping ahead of time.  Some are "healthier" options you can grab at the store. I hope you find some options that your kiddos will enjoy and that will bring even more of a nutrition boost into their way of eating.

I think you'll find planning ahead and making nutritious snacks will also be much more budget friendly.  Those packaged foods add up quickly.  Home-cooking is good for the budget and the body! Another budget friendly thing I've done is buy a few locally made reusable snack bags that have been awesome. This way I don't have to continue to buy plastic baggies.  My girls love them and get excited to see what surprise is in there.  If your in the Grand Rapids area check out Hopscotch Children's Store for these bags.  Well worth the investment.  Or if your good at sewing I'm sure you could whip them up in a matter of minutes. 
If you have other nutritious snacks that are favorites among your kiddos please leave a comment on this post and share.  Here's to a Happy New Year and Happy Snacking!

Crunchy Snacks
·             apples and pears
·         frozen grapes
·         rice cakes topped with nut or seed butter
·         popcorn (drizzled with olive oil instead of butter) or use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan
·         pretzels  (Read labels and find and choose high quality)
·         carrots, kohlrabi, celery, sweet peppers, jicama, raw green beans
·         crunchy crudités of veggies and dip (hummus, tabouli, vinaigrette, favorite dressing)
·         celery and/or apples with peanut butter or other nut/seed butter (use non-hydrogenated peanut butter)
·         hummus with veggies or wholesome or homemade crackers
·         nuts and/or seeds
·         homemade trail mix:  nuts, seeds, dried peas, raisins, dried cranberries, carob or chocolate    chips, or anything else you have available.  This is our go-to, easy, out and about snack.  

Sweet Snacks
·         fresh, whole fruit   
·      frozen blueberries
·      avocado slices
·      non-dairy milk 
·     non-dairy yogurt or coconut-milk kefir (my girls love these options but I must say they aren't real budget   friendly and you want to get the lowest sugar options available...when I do buy these things occasionally I try to buy the plain variety and mix in my own fruit puree to decrease sugars)
·     apples and almond butter (maybe even mix a bit of raw honey into nut butter for dipping)
·     sprouted bread with jam (choose pure fruit jams)
·     frozen yogurt: freeze yogurt and make your own!
·     dried fruit (read labels again so your not getting a bunch of sugar and other additives
·     smoothies (get creative with the produce you have fresh and/or frozen)
·     vegan ice cream (there are lots of recipes for vegan ice cream on this blog!)
·     freshly squeezed fruit & veggie juices: Make your own and try different combos.
·     Applesauce (sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, chopped walnuts....)
·     sweet vegetables: yams, sweet potatoes, squashes (acorn, butternut, kabocha) cut into chunks or fries;
·     Leftover Pancakes
·     Dates stuffed with almond butter or other nut butter
            ·        organic dark chocolate chips or carob chips
            ·        chia seed pudding
            ·        popsicles   (great for a teething baby!)
                     Homemade muffins    
            ·        Homemade pudding
Salty Foods 
·          olives
·        pickles (buy a organic or natural brand so you aren't getting food dyes)
·        steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar
·        good quality tortilla chips and salsa, guacamole, hummus, or bean dip
·        salted edamame
·        lightly salted popcorn
·        pretzels (whole grain or gluten free labels) and hummus or dip
·        Kale chips 
·       Seaweed Snacks (wrap a carrot or rice in them to make them more of a lunch option)

I have discovered that my girls also love sour foods.  I tried to steer away from these foods for the longest time just assuming that they wouldn't like them.  Well they do.  They love lemon and limes squeezed into water or even just chewing on them.  But one of their real loves? Kombucha! Check it out if it's new to you.  You can actually do your own home brew, which is what we do and it's so much cheaper.  There are lots of benefits of kombucha.  The biggest ones being the amount of probiotics and enzymes it contains, which makes it great for immune boosting.  We love it and I personally feel just fine giving it to my girls in small amounts, but if it's new to you do your research and decide what you feel comfortable with.

I hope you find some options for happy, healthy, kiddo-friendly, budget-friendly snacks on this post!

Blessings to you as you enter into a new year full of possibilities!!!!!


  1. We make our own Kombucha also, I added strawberries and did a second ferment last time, it was yummy. You should get some kefir grains and then you could make your own coconut milk kefir. It only takes 24 hours to make, once your in a cycle you have a glass a day. Fermented salsa is also a big hit at our house.

  2. Where do you get the grains for the coconut kefir? I would love to do that!!