I don’t know about you, but when summertime hits, my kids suddenly think our pantry and refrigerator turn into a 24/7 snack machine! My kids suddenly eat like they are college football players fueling for “two a days.” Last summer, I felt like every time I turned around, they were grabbing more and more snacks and skimping out on their lunch or dinner.
With the recent stay-at-home order, it feels like summertime snacking has hit early! The sweet sounds of, “Can I have a snack?” or “Can I have crackers?” or “Can I have a granola bar?” has been on repeat. Worried that my kids would “spoil their dinner,” I chose to start “Snack Baskets” for my kids – each night I fill each basket with an apple, a clementine, an “AM Snack” and a “PM Snack.” My kids can eat their snacks at any time they want, but once they are gone, they are gone! And if they are still hungry? They can eat as much lunch or dinner that they want! Since I started the baskets, I have gained some of my sanity back, my kids are eating less processed and homemade snacks and they are eating more when it’s mealtime.
Not all snacks need to be processed or purchased at the store – consider some of these fun snacks that you can make with your kids at home!
Spread peanut butter out on a tortilla, place the whole banana in the center of the tortilla and roll it up. Cut into bite sized rolls. For a variation, sprinkle shredded coconut or Rice Krispies cereal on the peanut butter.
Homemade Fruit Leather
Chop 2 cups of cut berries (strawberries/raspberries) in a food processor. Add 1 cup applesauce into the food processor and puree. Spread on a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 4 hours at 175 degrees F or until it is no longer tacky. Let cool before cutting. Store in a sealed container.
No Bake Cheerio Peanut Butter Squares
Heat ½ cup of honey and ¾ cup peanut butter. Once honey and peanut butter are mixed, removed from heat and fold in 3 cups of Cheerios. Spread in a parchment lined 8×8 pan and refrigerate for at least one hour. Cut into squares and enjoy! Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Apple “Donut” Rings
Cut an apple into rings and then cut out a circle in the middle to remove the core. Top with regular or flavored cream cheese. Finally add a few sprinkles to get that “donut” look!
This one is healthy and sweet! Cut up an apple into thin slices, and then drizzle melted peanut butter over it. Sprinkle on toppings of your choice such as chocolate chips, shredded coconut, peanuts or granola.
Make your own or buy yogurt tubes from the grocery store and put them in the freezer! Done! Put them in a snack bin, or add them as a surprise snack for your kids!
GORP (Grains, Oats, Raisins, and Peanuts)
This one includes processed snacks, but also can include some great math practice! Mix random snacks you have at home – there is no wrong way to make GORP! For example, mix Goldfish crackers, raisins, cubed cheese and peanuts. Give your kiddo some of the mix and have them sort their snack (math sort!) and then talk about what they have the most of and what they have the least of (more/less). Finally, see if they can make a pattern out of their snack (hello more math) before they eat it – which also requires delayed gratification. Boom!
What fun and healthy snacks will you be making this summer? Share your recipes in the comment section!