Thursday, May 17, 2012

10 Healthy Make Ahead Snacks TO GO & the Snack Station!

This time of year there is so much going on that it is harder to make something healthy every time you or one of the kiddos is hungry.   I am finding we don't have much to eat on the go sometimes when we are busy because I won't buy processed crackers, cookies, granola bars etc... and I don't have time to make it right then.  It is also so much more economical to make snacks yourself as opposed to buying them, ans so much healthier as we all know.  I am trying to stock my fridge and pantry with healthy ready to go snack foods that we can grab before a trip to the park or the kids can grab for themselves while I am busy with one of the other 4 kiddos.  I like the idea of prepackaging my own healthy foods, because it is so helpful to have something to grab.  I I  have started trying to have one food chore day a week where I prep snacks, granola, dips etc so we are ready for the week. Here is what I have come up with for myself so we can eat well no matter how busy we are.
Hard boiled eggs 
Photo from fotostock
I know it is simple but farm fresh eggs are a great snack for the kids. It is easy to boil up a whole pot full at a time and store right back in their original egg carton marked "hard boiled eggs".  They are full of protein and taste great as well as being conveniently in their own packaging!  To make them put uncooked eggs in a pot of cold water.  Now add a tsp of baking powder and salt to make them easy to peel.  Bring the pot to a boil for about 1 minute, then take them off the heat and let them sit 10-12 minutes.

Celery filled with peanut butter
Photo from fotostock
Who doesn't like this classic snack.  I like that I can make a whole plateful to keep in the fridge and have them ready to go for hungry kiddos.  Do not plan on stacking them as that just gets too messy.  A single layer works best.  Some like the addition of raisins.  We get plenty of sugar elsewhere so we skip that part.

Fruit Skewers
Photo from fotostock
These are great fresh or frozen!  Just skewer grapes, strawberries, all kinds of melons, kiwi, mint leaves, bananas, apple and orange chunks or whatever you have on hand.  Then store in the fridge or freezer.  These are great with or without yogurt dip.  For the yogurt just sweeten plain yogurt with honey or stevia and dip.  They make a great Popsicle alternative with tons more fiber and all around nutrition!

Homemade yogurt
Photo from fotostock
I have a great recipe for homemade organic thick and creamy yogurt that you make in the crock pot.  I use my large crockpot and make a gallon at a time!  If you sweeten half of what you make with stevia or honey you can keep it in your fridge in ready to go jars.  Then when you need a quick snack it is already sweetened, served, and easy enough for kids to get for themselves.  I love a handful of homemade granola (recipe here) mixed into this.

Homemade granola bars
Photo from Whole Foods market
These are easy, yummy, healthy and great to throw in a bag and go.  Just wrap each one individually in cellophane and when you need it you are ready.  You can find several recipes HERE.

Ready to go veggie cups with homemade ranch or hummus
Photo from Pinterest no credit
I make my own ranch (recipe here) and humus (recipes here).  Just portion some out into small reusable plastic cups and add the long strips of cut up veggies.  Now just grab and go!  Make a weeks worth for your family and you will find it so much easier to be getting all your veggies in!

Frozen Homemade Burritos
(Bean or Breakfast)

DIY Frozen Burritos
Recipe and photo from Talia Christine's blog You can make these ahead of time with my homemade whole wheat tortilla recipe.  To store them wrap them in cellophane and store in an airtight container in the freezer. You can also change up the filling and use eggs, cheese and soy sausage for breakfast burritos too.   When you want one just reheat.

Homemade Snack Bags
Photo from Joy Bauer
We mix cheerios, or other whole grain cereal, almonds, sunflower seeds, chopped up apricots (less sugar than other dried fruit), whole grain crackers or pretzels, and mix it all up.  You can make these ahead of time and package in the snack size zip lock bags so you have a ready made snack. 

Yogurt pops
Clean Eating Blueberry Yogurt Pops
Find the recipe from these pops at the Gracious Pantry
Use your popsicle molds for yogurt pops.  Use plain unsweetened yogurt and add your own natural sweeteners like stevia or xyilitol etc (Still not sure what to use?  See my previous post on natural sweeteners here.)  then add frozen fruit chunks or puree it all in the blender.  For the blended option throw yogurt and fruit or fruits of choice in the blender with a small amount of juice.  Just enough juice to make the blending easier and then pour into molds. For more healthy "popsicle style" treat recipes look HERE.

Brewers Yeast Popcorn in snack bags 
Popcorn : popcorn isolated in white background Stock Photo
photo from 123rf stock photos
.Pop up some popcorn on your stove with a little olive oil, then thow on some brewers yeast ans sea salt before throwing into small zipper seal snack bags ready to grab for the week.  The brewers yeast adds a parmesiany flavor and a ton of B vitamins.  The popcorn stays nice and crisp for days.

The Snack Station
For me the whole point of this was to find snacks that my kids could help themselves to (besides fruit), and snacks that I could grab and head to the park with.  Enter the "snack station".  I will be making one for the fridge and one for pantry items that do not need refrigeration.  That way if I am busy with homeschool, or something else they can help themselves to mommy approved choices.  
Photo from Stuff I like
What are your healthy ideas for homemade snacks to go?


Richard and Tiffany said...

This is awesome!! Exactly what I have been looking for. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

I am hoping the same best effort from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me. 5 Great Healthy Snacks