Easy Snacks for Hungry Kids

All county schools are back in session or will be soon.  Let’s be honest, this year NOTHING has been on schedule or as planned so by the time this is printed, it may not be true anymore.  I don’t know about anyone else’s kids, but the kids in my life all demand snacks as soon as the school day is over.  I mean they are so hungry like they haven’t eaten all day-kids can be so dramatic sometimes.  With today’s options being full of dyes, artificial flavors and sugars kids don’t really need, I thought it would be a great time to include some easy after school snacks you can make on the weekend and have on hand all week (or all month) long.  

The recipes below are great snacks for kids that are easy to prepare, but there are also snacks that require no recipe-just a little preparation.  Keep fruit or vegetables on hand for the kids.  Apples are something easy for all kids to eat.  If your kids are old enough, whole apples are fine.  If the kids are younger, go ahead and slice them and have them ready.  Celery is a great snack and easily filled with peanut butter which is full of protein.  Make it fun for the kids with raisins on top of the peanut butter for ants or even an apple slice and make it a snail! Grapes, broccoli and carrots are also great options.  You can easily portion the fruit or veggie into baggies or containers and therefore control how much your kids eat.

These can be easily adjusted to your tastes.  Feel free to change out any ingredients for something else you may prefer.    Make your grocery list this weekend and meet me in the kitchen for a great way to provide snacks for your hungry munchkins.

Fruit Roll Ups

I absolutely love fruit snacks.  What I don’t like are the artificial flavors and dyes they are full of when you buy from the store.  This is a great alternative and is easy to make!

2 cups fresh fruit, this can be all one type of fruit or you can mix and match.  Try blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries or any combination of them!

1-3 Tbsps. sweetener if desired

Parchment paper is a must for this one or a silicone mat if you have one.

Place parchment paper on baking sheet with sides.  Puree berries of choice in high speed blender until super smooth. Sieve out seeds from fruit puree if desired.  This is not absolutely necessary, but some prefer not having seeds. Spread 1 cup of smooth berry puree per baking tray (half sheet size) as evenly as possible, without leaving translucent streaks. Dehydrate in oven at lowest possible temperature 140-170°F for 3-4 hours until center is no longer sticky to touch. As a good rule, check in every 30 minutes after the first two hours the first time you make these until you know exactly how long your oven takes it to dehydrate. You can also dehydrate 2-3 trays at the same time, just be prepared, they may not all be done at the same time.  Cut in desired shape. It's possible the texture will feel a little dry, but keep in mind it will become sticky overnight, so you'll want to roll up the pieces using parchment or wax paper to keep it from sticking. And if baked on parchment paper, just cut strips along with the paper.  Store in airtight container in cool place (or fridge) for about a week, and in freezer for a few months.  You can always mix different berry flavors in the same tray! 

Recipe from gnomgnom.com.

Low Carb Protein Balls

1 cup hemp hearts

½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

½ cup almond slices

¼ cup chia seeds

¼ cup flaxseed

½ cup peanut butter

2 Tbsps. sugar free chocolate syrup

2 Tbsps. pure vanilla extract

¼ cup sugar free chocolate chips

In large bowl, mix all ingredients together until combined.  Scoop out tablespoon size ball of the mix and place on a baking sheet.  Chill in freezer for about an hour to firm up.  Store protein balls in sealed container in freezer or refrigerator. Enjoy!

Note: If you can’t find the hemp hearts, you can substitute with a combination of more chia and flax seed.  You don’t have to use sugar free ingredients, but that is part of what makes it low carb.

Recipe adapted from hip2keto.com

 

Pizza Roll Ups

12 slices of mozzarella cheese

Italian seasoning

Pepperoni slices or other pizza topping of choice

Grated parmesan Romano cheese blend

Marina sauce or ranch dressing for dipping

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Lay slices of cheese on parchment paper and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Top with pepperoni and lightly sprinkle with parmesan Romano cheese blend.  Bake for 7 minutes or until cheese slices start to slightly brown around edges.  Remove from oven and allow cheese to slightly cool. Using edge of spatula, gently lift edge of cheese off pan and lay over to start rolling.  Using your fingers, quickly roll the rest of it and remove to plate or severing dish.  Repeat with remaining cheese slices.  Serve with marinara or ranch or dipping sauce of choice. 

 

 

Zucchini Chips

2 medium zucchini

1 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil

¼ cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese

Seasoning salt as desired, this will depend on the tastes of your children.  You can do something simple like salt and pepper, garlic and onion or even something like Head Country.

Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Thinly slice zucchini with mandolin if available or as thin as you can with a knife.  Place zucchini, oil and seasonings in large bowl and toss to coat well. Lay zucchini slices in single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake for about two and a half hours.  This will really depend on how thick your slices are and how much moisture is in the zucchini.  They will be done when they start to turn brown and just start to turn crispy.  Turn off oven and leave chips in oven to cool completely.  They will crisp more while cooling.  Store in air tight container.