The Best Snacks to Pack for Playtime

Children can be bottomless pits — until it comes time for dinner and they don’t want to eat that steamed broccoli, no matter how tasty you say it is. Snacks can be a terrific way to make sure your little ones are getting all their nutrients and have enough food to keep them moving and growing. If your kids are getting bored of the same snacks, here are a few quick and easy recipes to help you change things up a little bit!

Start Simple

Prepping a ton of snacks is probably the last thing you want to do before you head out to the park or a playdate, so keeping your pantry, fridge or freezer stocked with easy to grab snacks is a great idea. Keep things like:

  • Bananas: You’ve got to love a snack that comes in its own neat package. Throw a couple of bananas in your bag, and you’re good to go.
  • Frozen Grapes: Wash and freeze a bag of grapes for a quick, refreshing snack that is perfect on any hot afternoon.
  • Nuts: A handful of nuts is packed with good protein and healthy fats to keep your little ones going. If allergies are a concern, avoid peanuts — which are actually legumes, not nuts! — and opt for almonds, walnuts, pecans or pistachios.
  • String Cheese: You’ll want to bring a cooler for these, but they’re the perfect quick snack that your children will love.

If you’d prefer to go with something a bit more elaborate, here are five recipes to get you started.

No-Bake Chocolate Banana Energy Balls

These super tasty treats are easy to make and packed with healthy fiber for long-lasting energy. The fact that they taste like chocolate chip banana bread is just a bonus.

These energy balls are packed full of oatmeal, flax seed, chia seed and coconut flakes for fiber, and held together with bananas, peanut butter and Truvia Nectar – though if you would prefer, you can replace the Truvia with honey. Again, if allergies are a concern, replace the peanut butter with your favorite nut butter for the same tasty treat.

They are also super simple to make — just mix, refrigerate, shape and eat! Enjoy these delicious energy balls without turning on the oven – which no one wants to do during these warmer months anyway!

Pear Donuts

Donuts don’t have to be unhealthy, and nutritious donuts don’t have to taste bad. These fun little concoctions only require two main ingredients: ripe pears and vanilla Greek yogurt.

All you have to do to prepare these is to slice your pears into rounds, core them and ‘frost’ them with your yogurt. Then, the fun begins — adding the toppings.

You can top these little treats with just about anything, from sprinkles to sliced fruit or crushed nuts — whatever your little ones will enjoy.

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Healthy snacks are great, but getting your kids to sit down long enough to enjoy them is sometimes akin to herding cats. That’s one reason why these blueberry banana muffins are so good — they’re easy to hold, so your little ones can enjoy them on the go. The last thing we want to do is to interrupt whatever important play-related task that they’re working on, after all!

These are super simple muffins, too.  All you have to do is toss all your ingredients in your food processor — except for the blueberries — and blend until it forms a smooth batter. Then, fold in your blueberries, pour it into your muffin tins and bake! They’re amazing warm, but they also store well, so you can take them to all your playdates with you!

Cookies and Cream Frozen Yogurt Dots

Children love hearing the siren’s song that is the ice cream truck, but if you’re trying to eat a little healthier, it isn’t a good thing to hear. Instead of shelling out obscene amounts of money for deformed-looking cartoon character popsicles, why not make your own frozen treats and bring them to the park with you?

They’re super simple to make, too — all you need is some chocolate sandwich cookies and some Greek yogurt. Crush your cookies into a powder — this is easier in a food processor, but you can do the same thing with a Ziplock bag and a rolling pin — and mix them into the Greek yogurt. Pipe onto a baking sheet and freeze until solid!

Once they’re frozen, you can toss them all into one bag or cooler and take them with you to the park or any other playdate you have planned.

Asparagus Fries

Many of our suggestions on this list so far have been sweet, so let’s leave you with something savory to snack on, too. Asparagus fries turn fresh asparagus spears into a tasty and healthy snack.

All you need to do is heat your oil on your stovetop, bread your asparagus spears and fry them until golden brown — usually two to three minutes. Once they’re cool enough to pick up, dip them in your favorite sauce and enjoy!

If you’re trying to avoid fried foods, you can make them in the oven, too. Just bake them at 425 degree F for seven to 13 minutes until golden brown.

Healthy snacks don’t have to give you a headache. Try a few of these recipes for your little ones, and you might be surprised at the results.

Mother Earth Living
Mother Earth Living
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