Thursday, March 11, 2010

Organic & Natural Living Thursday!


I don't know about your kids, but mine always seem to be hungry and asking for snacks. Besides the fact that I feel like I'm constantly cleaning up kitchen messes, I'm not much of a snacker myself and the whole thing just drives me nuts! I'm also fairly health conscious, and therefore don't buy a lot of pre-made foods like chips, crackers or other pre-packaged foods.

Since I'm always trying to come up with relatively simple, healthy and quick snack ideas, I thought maybe some of you were in the same boat, and this may bring new inspiration or remind you of snack options you had forgotten.

  • Popcorn - I pop it on the stove, spray with some olive oil and sprinkle things like Parmesan cheese, salt, cheese flavored popcorn topping (I know, not so healthy!). My issue with this - time. My plan is to make extra and save it in zip lock bags for a day or two.

  • Mini Muffins - When I make up a batch of muffins, I try to make about half in the mini size. They are the right size for my three year old, and not quite as messy in her hands as a full sized one. I got the mini muffin pan at Ross for around $5 a couple years ago.

  • Trail Mix - Expensive if you buy pre-packaged, but I'm thinking it would be much less so if you bought all the ingredients separately in the bulk section? I'll let you know once I do it :)

  • Ants on a Log - Remember this from being a kid? It's how I get my kids to eat celery. Just take celery stalks, put peanut butter down the center and top with chocolate chips (or you could do raisins). I cut it into bite sized portions for my daughter so that it's easier to eat and doesn't get "stringy".

  • Granola Bars - Okay, I'll admit I have issues with this one. I don't know why, but I feel guilty when I feed this to my kids...........but I still buy it. Go figure. Anyway, it's on my TO DO list to try making it from scratch.

  • Apples, Oranges, Bananas - My kids aren't crazy about fruit. If I give them some peanut butter to dip the apples or bananas in, sometimes they'll go for it.

  • Carrot sticks & dip - My daughter likes it buy my son has to be made to eat it.

  • Yogurt & Smoothies - I like this one except for two issues. One - it's not very filling. Two - the mess drives me crazy (3 year old)...

  • Applesauce - My mom and I canned some up a couple years ago and I still have quite a few jars left. My kids didn't like it for a while, but just recently decided they do again.

The other issue I have with snacks is TIME. They all take time to whip up! I'm hoping that with a little more pre-planning and organization I'll be more on top of the snacks issue. Those are my ideas for today. What do you do for snacks? I would love to hear!



C and G said...

My favorite snack to make . . . and my two year olds favorite snack to eat/drink are smoothies. During the summer we pick and freeze tons of blueberries and strawberries. My son is pretty good about drinking from a regular cup if he's not on the move but if I don't want a mess then I use "the safe sippy".

In a typical smoothie I put yogurt or kefir, blueberries, strawberries, coconut oil and a little milk. We sweeten it with agave or honey. If I feel like my son hasn't eaten very many green things in a while i add a handful of spinach. Other frozen fruits we have used are peaches, banana or raspberries.

I also make granola bars and freeze them individually.

My son is infatuated with dipping (dit as he calls it) so as long is there is a vehicle to dip he's happy . . . apples or pears in yogurt, carrots or pita bread in hummus, chicken chunks in bbq sauce, crackers in peanut butter or smashed avocado.

Heather said...

Yes it is time consuming at first, but we love to make homemade crackers and top them with homemade all natural jam, peanut butter or cheese. This is a dough you can make enough of ahead of time and freeze into servings, plus it's something fun my kids enjoy with me:-)
Thanks for all the wonderful organic posts!

Anonymous said...

We pick tons of blueberries in the summer and freeze them. My kids love frozen blueberries, and they are really healthy!

Bekki said...

First - THANK YOU for the increased organic info posts. I appreciate it as we also buy mostly organic, despite the impact on our small food budget.
Snacks are a tough one. My son has reflux and tends to graze more than eat meals, so I feel like I am perpetually making snacks.
We do a lot of cheese and lunch meat cut into strips (can use the Diestel or Applegate brand, or the Hormel Natural - not organic, but no nitrates at least), Hain brand graham crackers (sold at New Seasons) with some peanut butter, almond butter or sunflower butter, or cream cheese. Those are the only graham crackers I've found without high fructose corn syrup.
Fruit on popsicle sticks, kebab style is appealing to the toddler/preschool crowd, and mixing your applesauce with the yogurt may entice them. I let my son "make" his own flavored yogurt with applesauce and/or some fruit and fruit preserves. He will also eat dry cereal as a snack - all kinds. Also - hard boiled eggs. My son only eats the "white part" as the yellow part is apparently yucky. But it's protein none the less!

Anonymous said...

I love all of your ideas and those in the comments! I snack quite often too, as it helps with my acid reflux and nausea from hormones. Aside from what's been listed, I also love dried fruit (apples, bananas, mango slices, pineapple chips, figs, prunes) and fruit leather (especially FruitaBu brand). I've done apples and bananas in my dehydrator but haven't ventured out to try any others homemade yet.