We have all been there. It’s a warm and beautiful day. You have offered your offspring endless fun activities . . . outside play, creative crafts. Maybe you caved and pulled out the iPads for some screen time! But inevitably, after a few minutes go by, you’ll hear the announcement: “I’m hungry!!!!” Followed by, “Can I have a snack?”
Earlier this year, after exhausting our go-to goldfish crackers, gummy fruit snacks, and Chips Ahoy Cookies (don’t tell my pediatrician), I realized I wanted to give my children some more filling snack options. I reached out to my mom friends on social media for ideas and got so many creative options! My 5, 4, and 1-year-old boys were happy snack-testers, and now I’d like to share some of our favorite snack-stractions with moms everywhere!
The consensus among my friends is that protein-filled options are more filling for snack time.
One basic idea that can be taken in many directions is “dippers.”
- Berries, apples, or grapes dipped in Greek yogurt (honey-flavored yogurt is a big hit)
- Apples or celery dipped in nut butter (almond butter is a favorite at my house)
- Veggie sticks, pita chips, or Veggie Straws dipped in hummus
Other ideas fall into a category I like to call “toppers.” You need a base and a protein topping for these.
- Crackers topped with lunch meat (add little pieces of cheese for a homemade “Lunchable”)
- Rice cake topped with nut butter
- Cucumbers topped with smoked salmon (a little cream cheese would be a nice addition)
Some ideas are super easy and have become our new favorites. These require almost no prep and can be ready to go anytime!
Super easy options:
- String cheese or cheese sticks
- Hard-boiled egg (my boys like a little salt and paprika on them)
- Nuts (almonds are a big hit and a small serving is filling)
- Frozen “Go-gurts” (almost like ice cream!)
- Turkey or beef jerky
Friends suggested some creative and fun ideas as well!
- Smoothies (protein ingredient ideas included Greek yogurt and nut butter and some mom friends get extra credit for sneaking in spinach)
- Cottage cheese served with fruit (my boys like mandarin oranges with theirs)
- Chicken, tuna, or egg salad on crackers
- Nachos (made with chips, beans, and cheese on a cookie sheet and baked until melted)
These snack options are yummy, kid-approved, and full of protein to help distract them from asking for more snacks. They are healthy and just as easy as grabbing the goldfish crackers. The next time you find yourself in a snack rut, reach for one of these delicious snack-stractions!
Originally published April 2019.
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