Busy season is often snacking season. The fall season can get hectic as kids go back to school and extracurricular sports, clubs and lessons start up again. For many, this means it is even harder to eat regularly and maintain a healthy diet! Whether it is lack of time, resources or creativity, here are 35 great snack ideas to consider for lunch boxes, after school, as dessert or before bed! Many of these can be made ahead of time and some can even be frozen. Mix & match the following ingredients as you wish!
- Organic Whole Grains -i.e. oats, quinoa, spelt, buckwheat, whole wheat, kamut, corn, rice (flours, cereals, bread, tortillas, crackers, etc.)
- Healthy Fats – organic/grass-fed butter or ghee, extra virgin olive oil, raw nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashew, pecan, walnut), seeds (flax, chia, sesame, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin), coconut or avocado (and butters/oils/full-fat milks).
- High Quality Proteins – organic/grass-fed dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheeses or kefir), whey or plant-based protein powders, organic/free-run eggs, organic/grass-fed/naturally-raised/wild-caught meats & seafood.
- Gluten/Dairy-Free Alternatives: beans/legumes (i.e. black beans, chickpeas), nut flours/milks (i.e. coconut, almond)
- Organic or Local & Chemical-Free Fruits & Vegetables – any and all in fresh, frozen, pureed, juiced or dried form! (i.e. sweet potato, beets, celery, squash, leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, raisins, berries, apples, bananas, oranges, pineapple, grapes, etc.)
- Natural Sweeteners -i.e. raw honey, maple syrup. Also, consider cane sugar or options such as xylitol, stevia, or coconut sugar.
- Extras: fun add-ins include matcha powder, dark chocolate, cacao powder/nibs, nutritional yeast, organic spices and extracts, etc.
A)Sweet Treats: Healthy Homemade Creations
1.DIY Granola (Try Honey Almond Cinnamon, Quinoa Coconut or Peanut Butter Cacao)
2.Healthy Cookies (Try Banana Oat Raisin, Peanut Butter Honey, Almond Flour Shortbread or Chickpea Chocolate Chip)
3.Raw Fruit & Nut Balls (Try Almond Date or Prune Cashew – add a scoop protein powder!)
4.No-Bake Energy Bites (Try Sunflower Butter Oat Flax, Pumpkin Pie Quinoa or Cacao Coconut)
5.Baked Oat Bars (Try Cranberry Pumpkin Seed or Blueberry Chia with Greek Yogurt)
6.Muffins (Try Whole Wheat Strawberry or Carrot Oatmeal)
7.Sweet Bread (Try Spelt Banana or Coconut Flour Pumpkin)
8.Whole Grain Scones (Try Apple Pie, Blueberry, Lemon or Chocolate Chip)
9.Cereal Squares (Try Peanut Butter Crispy Rice or Cacao Puffed Kamut)
10.Pancakes/Waffles/Crepes (Try Buckwheat Crepes, Spelt Pancakes or Wheat Waffles)
11.Brownies (Try Basic Wheat, Spelt Zucchini or experiment with black beans/avocado/sweet potato/pumpkin/beets/coconut flour)
12.Healthy Fudge (Try Green Tea Coconut Milk, Cacao Peanut Butter, Vanilla Maple or Coconut Oil Almond)
13.Homemade Ice Cream (Try Coconut Milk Cinnamon, Matcha or Cacao Mint)
14.Pudding/Mousse (Try Cacao Avocado, Chia Almond Milk)
15.Trail Mix (with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, popcorn, dry cereal, coconut & dark chocolate)
B)Fun Fruits: Frozen, Fresh, Pureed, Juiced or Dried!
16.Frozen Fruit (alone or coated in nut butter/coconut/yogurt/dark chocolate)
17.Fresh Fruit (alone, as a salad, on kabobs or served with nuts/nut butter or yogurt dip)
18.Pureed Fruit (alone or in homemade popsicles, smoothies & frozen “nice cream”)
19.Juice Gummy Snacks (made with gelatin/agar agar and sweetener)
20.Dehydrated Fruit (i.e apple rings or homemade fruit leather)
C)Stay Full Longer: Proteins & Fats
21.Hard Boiled or Deviled Eggs (try stuffing with avocado, tahini or olive oil-based mayo)
22.Unpasteurized Cheese Slices, Goat Feta or Cottage Cheese (serve with nuts/seeds or fruits/veggies)
23.Avocado Slices (sprinkled with sea salt or lemon juice)
24.Nuts/Seeds (enjoy a handful, coated in yogurt/dark chocolate or consume in nut/seed butter & cracker forms)
25.Protein Powder Shake (with water, milk or dairy-free alternatives)
26.Roasted Chickpeas (with oils & sweet or salty seasonings)
27.Regular or Greek Yogurt (with sweetener, protein powder, nut butters or fruit puree!)
28.Meat Roll-Ups or Jerky (served with veggies & homemade condiments)
29.Canned Salmon/Tuna (stuffed inside veggies, avocadoes, eggs, etc.)
30.Edamame (choose a Non-GMO product – sprinkle with sea salt)
D)High Fibre Munchies: Veggies & Whole Grains
31.Baked Veggies (as bites or chips - sweet potato, squash/zucchini, kale, beet, cauliflower)
32.Whole Grain Crackers or Brown Rice Cakes (topped with nut/seed butters, guacamole or hummus!)
33.Tortillas (baked into chips or rolled into stuffed pinwheels – serve with salsa, nut/seed butters, cottage cheese/yogurt, and guacamole!)
34.Raw Veggies (serve with legume/bean-based hummus, nut/seed butters or yogurt/cottage cheese dip)
35.Popcorn (choose organic kernels- try topping with coconut oil, sea salt and other spices)
Be sure to check out your local health food store for high quality ingredients and healthy recipe ideas!
This column is sponsored by Good 'n' Natural in Steinbach.