Simple Snacks: 6 Tips & 50 Ideas

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Here's a solid, helpful list of snacks from a generous blogger. Buuuuuttttt, if your kid is used to eating granola bars after school, this list won't impress. 

Here's how I make truly healthful snacks work for my three living, breathing normal kids who all feel very comfortable advocating for themselves (complaining) until they get what they want. 

Six Laws of Healthful Snacks

1) Abundance. This is my top tip. Abundance creates confusion and the kids don't miss the crackers and sweets. Plop/plate 4+ items for maximum impact. Pistachios + cashews + strawberries +cheese + snap peas + turkey wows them in a way a single string cheese never will. I've been known to leave a platter of this in the fridge if I'm not going to be home when the kids get home. Makes an impression.

2) "Empty the Fridge into the Car". Heading to soccer/swim/chess/cello/karate after school? I stock my car with the same nuts, cheese, fruits and veggies that I would normally plate up at home. But if you need to pack the food for the day and you live in a warm climate, keep the cheese and veggies in your work bag and leave nuts, apples and nut butters in your car. Add in a healthier version of a Slim Jim meat stick. I found them at Safeway and Trader Joe's. Cheese will keep in your purse if you carry it into air conditioning with you. (It's so cold here in Seattle most of the year that I can leave cheese, berries and veggies in the car all day with no problems. For most of the year, I can even leave a 12 pack of flavored seltzer in the trunk and it stays cool. This is truly the only perk of being cold 10 months a year.) 

3) Go fancy. Buy macadamia nuts, marcona almonds, or pine nuts. Add truffle salt (Trader Joe's/Whole Foods) to your nuts.  Make a mix of tiny fresh mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes. It's fine plain or you can add olive oil, salt, pepper and basil. Even balsamic. Try a gorgonzola, aged gouda or goat cheese. Heat up a brie. Upgrade your string cheese to individually packaged cheddar from brands like Black Diamond, Tillamook or Cabot.

4) Didn't plan ahead? Out of food at home? Running into the grocery store for 5 minutes is just as fast as a visit to McD's, Starbucks, Bubble Tea, Fro Yo, and other sellers of pure sugar in various shapes. Grab some cold flavored seltzer while you're in there. You can even run into a gas station or drug store and get cheese and nuts.

5) Plan to not plan. I keep a giant container of nuts in my car for when I haven't planned ahead. I also keep a bag of nuts in each of my kids' backpacks, but they forget they are in there most of the time. 

6) Remember: hungry kids eat. Fed kids complain. When my youngest complains, I know he isn't hungry. He's usually had a birthday treat or some other junk at school.  

Thanks to WifeMomGeek.com for compiling this list.