As a mom, you probably already spend a large chunk of your day on meal preparation. Between breakfast, lunch, and dinner plenty of time is spent in the kitchen putting together family meals. Spending additional time on snacks can make you feel like you spend your entire day in the kitchen. Allowing your kids to prepare their own snacks can give them a sense of accomplishment and independence. It also allows you a break from constant kitchen duty. While pre-packaged crackers, chips, and fruit snack are great from time to time, for everyday eating, it’s best to have some healthier options. Check out this list of healthy snack ideas kids can prepare themselves.
Healthy Snack Ideas Kids Can Prepare Themselves
1. Veggies and Hummus
Pre-cut veggies like carrot sticks, celery, or red peppers store nicely in the refrigerator for easy snacking. Older kids may even be able to cut their own. You can also use keep sugar snap peas on hand. They are tasty and require no cutting. Allow your kids to add a little hummus and they will have a healthy and easy to prepare snack.
2. Fruit and Cheese
There is something about fruit and cheese that goes together perfectly. For grab-and-go snacking or a simple snack for younger children, you can pre-cut apple and pear sliced and soak them in cold lemon water to prevent them turning brown. Storing these in serving size baggies in the fridge for eating with string cheese makes a simple filling snack. Older kids can cut or peel their own fruit and cheese. Or even make kabobs.
3. Toast or a Sandwich
It doesn’t get much simpler than peanut butter and jelly. Spreading this time-tested combination on a sandwich or a piece of toast is an easy to prepare and kid-friendly snack. When my daughter was too young to make her own sandwiches, I used to pre-make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and store them in the fridge for easy snacking.
Lunch meat and cheese slices are also ingredients for a healthy and delicious sandwich a school-age kid can prepare independently.
Let’s face it, the blender is fun. And smoothies make a healthy and tasty snack for people of all ages. Adding fruit, peanut butter, yogurt, and even vegetables is an easy way to make a healthy and filling smoothie snack.
5. Homemade Snack Mix
You can make your own snack mix with cereal, nuts, raisins, pretzels, or other typical ingredients for grab-and-go snacking. Or check out this recipe and customize it to your family’s tastes. You can also buy a variety of ingredients and let your kids enjoy customizing a snack mix for themselves with all their favorites.
6. Chips and Salsa
Chips aren’t always thought of as a healthy snack. But there are many tortilla chips available for purchase that are on the healthier side. Or you can make your own. And salsa is a great way to add some vegetables to your kids’ diet in a way that is fun and flavorful.
Eggs are a protein filled snack most kids enjoy eating. An older child can learn how to scramble or fry an egg on their own. And for your younger kids, keeping hard boiled eggs in the fridge is an easy-to-grab snack for at home or even taking on the go.
Tips for Letting Kids Get Their Own Snacks
- Designate a low shelf in the cabinet and a low refrigerator drawer to provide access to these snacks and ingredients for your younger children.
- Set aside a little time each week to set up your grab-and-go snacks for busy days or for your younger children who can’t do their own prep work.
The key to healthy snacks your kids can prepare themselves is simple ingredients and a little pre-planning. I hope you can use these ideas to give your kids both healthy snacks and the opportunity to learn a little independence in the kitchen.