As a naturopathic medical intern, business owner and mom of two I know how important it is for kids snacks to be both nutrient-dense and something that they will actually eat. Time is of the essence when it comes to prepping so if you are limited in time like me, I have you covered.
The Importance of Healthy Meal Prep
When it comes to preparing healthy snacks for kids, having a game plan is critical to your success. Doing a meal prep on the weekend will
Save you time and money
Keep you organized
Ensure you are eating nutrient dense meals
Research backs the fact that if you fail to plan, plan to fail. A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at the time spent preparing food of 1,319 adults. Of the respondents, 16% said that they spent less than one hour on food prep; 43% said they prepped for one to two hours, and 41% said that they prepped for two hours a day or more.
What was concluded was that spending less than an hour preparing food is associated with consuming more fast foods, and eating less fruit and vegetables, which is not surprising.
Healthy Snack Ideas
To help make your healthy snack prep a breeze try out my favorite make-ahead, kids approved snacks:
1. Roasted Chickpeas:
One can of chickpeas turn into a crispy, salty, savory treat in no time. The best part of this healthy snack recipe is that it only requires one bowl, making for a simple clean up. These high-protein, high-fiber snacks are so easy for kids to eat by the handful. My kids love them and I know yours will too. Roasted chickpeas can take on any flavor, depending on what spices you add to the mix. Start by straining chickpeas and coating them in olive oil. Next add your desired spices! This is my favorite recipe. The nutritional yeast adds protein and gives them a cheesy flavor.
2. Freeze Muffins:
Muffins are a great healthy snack to have on hand. When I bake muffins I always double the recipe and freeze half. When choosing a muffin recipe look for ones that use apple sauce as a sweetener and use whole wheat or gluten free flours. Another tip would be to add fruit and nuts instead of chocolate. Berries are high in Vitamin C, manganese, fiber and antioxidants. Going for recipes that include vegetables is a good idea. Try out zucchini or carrot muffins.
3. Raw veggies:
Cut up vegetables are great for a snack on the go. Even if time is too limited to chop for the week get a veggies tray with everything done for you. Kids love finger foods and to dip. If your child refuses to eat veggies, don’t give up. Try cutting them in different ways or offering healthy dips like nut butter and tzatziki. Another tip is to arrange the veggies into a picture. Get creative by making a rainbow or a happy face. Sometimes a little fun is enough to entice them into changing their mind and trying the healthy snack.
4. Prosciutto egg muffins:
This healthy snack has got to be my favorite make-ahead one. These are super delicious and a must for me to have on-hand. Simply grease a muffin tin and line it with prosciutto. Then crack an egg and make sure to break the yolk as it cooks better. Place in a 375F oven and cook until the yolk is no longer runny about 15 minutes. These can easily be stored and reheated throughout the week for a snack or a quick on the go breakfast.
5. Energy Balls
Making a huge batch of energy balls and freezing them is a great way always to have healthy snacks ready. These are great during those “hungry” times because they offer a satiating combination of protein, carbs, and fats. Energy ball recipes are beyond numerous, totally customizable and the perfect fast, nutritious and affordable snack.
Full Recipe Here. TIP: use fruits, honey, maple syrup or dates to sweeten recipes as opposed to sugar
Need More Guidance and Support?
If you want a “done-for-you” layout of how to plan your week, I hear you. This is exactly the reason why I have created a Meal Prep Sunday program that simplifies everything you need to prepare enough meals in roughly two hours.
For healthy, simple recipes, a detailed meal plan that’s easy to follow, and step by step guidance with meal prep, click here and for a completely individualized plan set up a free consult, click here.