Summer Break Snacks Your Littles will Love
Summer break is around the corner and your kids will be home and hungry. What do you do? What do you feed them? Well, I teamed up with Holistic Nutritionist Michelle Tirmandi from Toronto Yoga Mamas to come up with 5 easy & healthy snacks your kids will LOVE!
Blueberry Oatmeal Blender Muffins
These muffins make a super easy breakfast or snack for the kids! They are filled with healthy ingredients and can also be slathered with nut butter (sunflower seed butter for those with nut allergies) to increase their energy. They are also made in one bowl ~ Hurray!
Get your kids involved with this easy recipe. Have them place the ingredients into the blender and have them place the blueberries into the muffins after you’ve added the batter to the muffin tin. They can practice their counting by placing 6-7 berries in each muffin or just have fun and create a face with the blueberries.
2 cups regular rolled oats
2 ripe bananas
1 cup full fat (3.5-4%) plain yogurt
1/4 cup maple syrup
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
11/2 cups blueberries (defrosted if using frozen)
Defrost berries in advance if using frozen.
Preheat oven to 375 deg F and line a muffin tray with muffin cups or grease with coconut oil.
Mash the bananas with a fork. Add all of the ingredients except the berries to a high powered blender or food processor. Blend all of the ingredients together until everything is mixed well then stir in the berries and pour in to muffin cups.
Bake for 20-22 minutes (depending on your oven).
Energy balls are a great option for busy families on the go! They are an energizing snack with protein, fat and fibre included. The chocolate chips add extra sugar for a sweet treat but can easily be omitted if trying to make a healthier snack. The chia seeds are great for digestion and essential fatty acids in the chia seeds are great for adults and kids!
If you want to get a little crazy, turn your energy balls into energy cake pops! Place a cake pop or popsicle stick into the energy ball and dip in chocolate and roll in sprinkles! Your kids will love you and you’ll feel better knowing they are secretly eating something nutritious.
1 ½ cups regular rolled oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
½ cup almond butter (or sunflower seed butter for nut free option)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons water (add ½ teaspoon, as needed)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 scoop protein powder or 3 tablespoons hemp hearts
Pinch of sea salt
3 tablespoons chocolate chips or raisins
Add all of the ingredients together in a large bowl except for the water, nut butter and stir. Next, mix in the remaining ingredients and combine well. Wet hands slightly and roll into balls. Store in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen.
DIY Snack Mix
Getting kids involved with their food is a great way to encourage them to eat healthier and get more variety in their diets. Actually, I personally find my kids eat more if they had a hand in making the food! So, let your kids create their own snack mix using various snacks you have on hand ie. cereal, pretzels or popcorn, cookies, nuts, seeds and dried fruit!
Including nuts or seeds (be careful of choking hazards depending on the age of the kiddos) is a great way to add healthy fats and minerals into the diets of kiddos. And try to choose organic popcorn if possible as many popcorn brands are GMO.
7+ small bowls
1 cup ‘O’ type cereal (ie.cheerios)
1 cup lentil cereal (look for Love Grown)
1 cup small cookies (ie. ShaSha heart shaped ginger snaps or animal cookies)
1 cup pretzels
1 cup popcorn or mini rice cakes
1 cup raisins or craisins
1 cup Cashews (optional)
Place each ingredient in a separate bowl. Place the bowls with the ingredients in front of your child and give your child an empty bowl. Ask your child to create their own personal snack mix using the ingredients in front of them.
Ants on a Log
Who didn’t eat these as a child growing up? That’s why this classic snack made it into our top 5 snacks your littles will love!
Nut butter or alternatives such as tahini or sesame seed butter contain healthy fats and minerals that are important for kids! Goat cheese is another great option as it is easier to digest than cow's dairy and it's still spreadable!
3-4 stalks of celery
Nut butter (sesame seed butter or tahini as nut free option) or goat cheese
Wash and cut celery stalks into 3 inch pieces. Now, let your kids fill the celery (logs) with goat cheese or nut butter (using plastic knives). Next, have them decorate the logs with raisins (the ants)!
Smoothies are a great way to sneak in tons of healthy ingredients. I love using blueberries because it makes the colour of the smoothie vibrant which kids love. Hemp hearts add protein and fat and chia seeds are amazing for digestion. They both also help to make the blood sugar more stable which is just as important for kids as it is for adults!
Any type of berries can be used in the smoothie, the key here is to try and balance the smoothie without using too much fruit. Sometimes it takes a while for kids to get used to adding green veggies, so play around with what works. Oh, and if the smoothie isn’t a hit pour it into a popsicle mold, freeze and see how that goes over with them!
3/4 cup berries (any type)
1/2 small banana
1/2 -1 cup spinach
2 tablespoons hemp hearts
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup non-dairy milk
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.