Here’s one more post in our series around getting artificial food coloring out of our children’s diets. If you’ve missed the earlier ones, a good place to start is here with: When Food Dyes Color Our Child’s Behavior.
Are your kids always hungry like mine? My son comes home from school and before he can even unload his backpack, he’s asking for a snack.
This is when it’s really tempting to crack open a box or bag of prepackaged snacks and send him on his way to homework. Since my daughter likes to share a snack with her big brother when he’s home, and she’s not a big eater like he is, I don’t want her filling up on empty calories.
So, with a litle prior preparation though, we can avoid snacks that may have artificial additives, food dyes, and excessive sugars and salt…and provide some healthy nutrition at snack time!
Here are some of our favorite snacks.
- Trailmix (most of the time we make our own with nuts, dried fruit, cereal, and bits of dairy free chocolate)
- Nut butters with fruit and veggies (we use peanut and almond butter to dip apples, celery, or pears)
- Carrot sticks or red bell pepper strips (or whatever is cut up and ready to eat in the fridge)
- Fresh fruit (apples, clementines, bananas and other seasonal fruit is always washed and out for the kids – except the coveted berries that we place high after learning our lessons last summer)
- Air-popped popcorn sprinkled with cinnamon, nutritional yeast, or a light drizzle of our dairy-free margarine. We usually serve this after a meal (they think it’s a treat), or along with something else so that there’s some nutrition in their snack.
- Smoothies with fresh fruit – or frozen (here’s one of our favorites: Patrick’s Best Berry Banana Smoothie)
Some days they just can’t have enough snacks – especially after a day of playing hard, or a sports activity.
We try to plan ahead and have snacks and water bottles ready to toss in the car before events, but sometimes we run late. For those situations, I need something that I can literally grab and run out the door. Here’s what we turn to.
- Envirokidz Organic Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars (there are many flavors, and they’re all good, but this is my son’s favorite)
- Stretch Island Fruit Leather (all the flavors are well-loved around here)
- Honest Kids Juice Pouch (a juice pouch with no artificial flavors or colors, no high fructose corn syrup, but lots of flavor)
- Annie’s Bunny Grahams (my son loves that he can have “bunny’s” that are dairy free)
- Larabar Fruit & Nut Bars (lots of protein in these bars and they’re sweetened with dried fruit)
On my list to try soon are these Sun Butter Bites from my friend Aimee at Simple Bites. Don’t they look great? And they’re “no bake”.
We recently brought the Honest Kids Juice Pouches and Stretch Island Fruit Leather for post-basketball game snacks (both were a great price at Costco) and they were a huge hit! We had parents call us after the game with delight that their children tried the fruit leather (fruit!), and liked them – and they now want to go stock up too!
So tell me, what are your naturally colorful go-to snacks?