Banish the hungries and keep kids happy on the go with these easy and portable snack ideas.
For many families, almost as soon as kids start grade school, so do the after-school lessons. Where once you were rushing to get your kid home so you could start prepping a healthy dinner, now you're hustling kids into the car to get them to their next event. Whether your kids are heading off to soccer practice or piano class after school, they'll need snacks to keep them going until it's time to go home for dinner.
Here are 5 easy on-the-go snacks that kids will enjoy eating. Moms will appreciate that they're health-conscious and deliver nutrients kids need, without the added fat and sugar found in many pre-packaged snack foods.
Pita Pocket with Hummus
Pita pockets are great to keep on hand for little ones. You can use these yummy bread circles to create a variety of mini-sandwiches kids can eat in few bites, making them an ideal on-the-go snack ingredient. I like to pack pita pockets with hummus, cucumber and sprouts for a yummy veggie-packed after-school snack. Protein-rich hummus delivers a great energy boost, and you can vary the veggies - or go hummus-only - to suit kids' tastes.
Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers
Avoid the cleanup of a messy snack plus get some fruit and vegetable goodness into kids with Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers. Available in both fruit-only and fruit-and-veggie varieties at grocery stores, these portable snacks come in fruit-forward flavors kids will love, including Blueberry, Peach Mango, Mixed Berry, Strawberry and Apple Cinnamon. These handy products contain no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors, are an excellent source of Vitamin C and are also gluten free!
Okay, some kids will scrunch up their noses at this one. But hard-boiled eggs just make some kids smile - mine included. They'll also make moms smile for being inexpensive, loaded with healthy nutrients including protein and containing only 70 calories a pop. Simply boil an egg for 10 minutes, rinse in cold water, peel away the shell and pop into a portable plastic container for an easy on-the-go snack. Boil a dozen eggs at the start of the week - it still only takes 10 minutes! - and you'll have a stash of portable snacks to pack for after-school activities and include in school lunches, too.
Pretzels and Cheese Strings
What goes together better than bread and cheese? Make kids smile with this fun snack combination that offers decent nutritional value, including calcium. Kids can also eat this snack in the car virtually without mess. For a health-conscious on-the-go snack, buy lower-fat string cheese and pair with a small baggie of pretzels - either traditional or gluten-free.
Busy moms reach for cereal all the time for breakfast - but there's no reason kids can't eat it as a snack throughout the day. Check box labels and choose a cereal that contains a decent amount of whole grains, fiber and protein, without a high calorie count or too much added sugar. Good choices include oat cereals and unfrosted wheat cereals.
This article is sponsored by Del Monte.