Healthy Fridge Snack Round-up
One of the easiest ways to make sure you and your kids are eating healthy food is to stock the fridge with grab-and-go snacks. Here is my round-up of some great fridge snacks, but feel free to add yours in the comments!
Fruits and Veggies
Carrots. Most kids love carrots. I buy the organic whole carrots and cut them into rods and put them into little baggies. The baggies are easy to take with us if we are headed out and Droolface can easily help himself. The bags can be washed and re-used from week to week.
Add in green peppers to mix up the flavors and help your child try something different.
My sister suggested adding in Snow Pea Pods, so we will be trying that this summer. And, broccoli florets, which Droolface actually likes! It’s all about mixing up the flavors and textures so the kids get used to a wide variety of fresh foods. It’s also about repeating! Even if Droolface turns something down today, in many cases, he will eat handfuls of the same item tomorrow.
Fruits are both easier and harder. It is usually easier to convince a kid to eat fruit because it’s sweet, but on the other hand, it can also be messy. Droolface is too little to eat a whole apple, so I often cube it up and add in raisins or dried cranberries. These have to be eaten relatively quickly or the apple gets brown.
Mango. Droolface loves mango. Slice these up and keep them in a bowl in the fridge and they are easy to transfer to a bowl and send the kids outside to enjoy. Don’t discard the mango pit if you have little ones with a few teeth. Droolface loved to suck on the mango pit when he was younger. This is a great summer treat because you can hose the kids off after they are finished!
Grapes. Another easy grab-and-go snack. Just separate them into little baggie and they are ready to go. For the younger kids, you might want to slice them into smaller pieces.
Beans and legumes are great for kids because they keep them full longer and include lots of fiber!
Hummus is Droolface’s favorite. You can separate a larger tub of hummus into smaller containers for on the go snacking. Take a small bowl with a lid and put a couple tablespoons of hummus in the bottom. Then prop cut-up carrots or little pretzel sticks into it and you have a portable filling and healthy snack.
Black beans. My family loves black beans and I am always looking for more ways to get them into our diet. Black bean dip is an easy way to do this and is similar to hummus. Just take cooked black beans and mash them or use a food processor. Add in flavorings – we like cilantro with tomato and lime juice – mix well and put into little containers with little carrot sticks or crackers.
Baked Garbanzo beans (chickpeas). I have made these a few times and it is always a work in progress. Take a can or soaked garbanzo beans and dry them really well on a paper towel. Rub a paper towel over them to discard any skins. Transfer them to a baking sheet and mix with olive oil and seasonings like cumin, black pepper and salt for a southwest taste. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring about every 15 minutes. They should end up crunchy. If they don’t seem crunchy after 30 minutes, keep them in for 10 more minutes. Store in a container in the fridge. There is tons of room to experiment with these!
Cheese is a great snack for kids. Keep cubes of Monterey jack or mild cheddar in little baggies. I try to avoid orange cheese because it has added food dyes. There are also non-dairy cheese options that are tasty.
Just a quick note about chips. While they are easy and cheap to purchase from the store, why not try making your own? They have way fewer preservatives and less salt than store varieties. I like to take flour or whole wheat tortillas (no, I do not make my own at this point) and using a large knife, slice them into triangles. Place them on a baking sheet with a cooling rack on top and using a basting brush, brush on some olive oil. Just a little bit on each triangle is enough. I then top them with crazy mixed up salt or sea salt. You can also experiment here – try topping them with barbeque seasoning!
What are your favorite summer fridge snacks?