Summer

15+ {Healthy and Simple} On-the-Go Finger Foods That Will Keep Your Kids Full

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Summer is finally here and I’ve already been packing and unpacking swim gear, coolers, sack lunches, and on-the-go snacks. Have you been doing this already?!

Whether we are taking a trip or taking a quick snack break, we are always ready to munch. We call ourselves grazers in our house. Anytime is snack time and we don’t need an excuse to eat! When I’m gearing up for busy summers, I’m all about keeping it simple, especially when it comes to packing food. Let’s make things easier on ourselves, right?

The last thing that I want to worry about is where to throw out our banana peels or coming home to wash all of those lunch containers after a long day out.

You know, yogurt with granola, peanut butter, bananas with peels, and all of those fancy dipping sauces are great, but let’s face it, they are a pain to eat and clean when traveling. I don’t always want to rinse, peel, or have an extra spoon or knife to clean when I’m about to head out the door with an overly excited two year old by my side.

When I used to take the kids to the park, the beach, or to the pool, I would always find a half eaten banana, which landed in the sand, or I would find the entire Gogurt packet  running down the front of a Spider-Man t-shirt.

Not anymore.

When we are heading out the door, we pretty much pack up our entire refrigerator and just go! We simply grab the cereal boxes, the entire package of mini peppers, the proteins, and distribute it all later.

We are all about the pop ’em in your mouth kind of snacks that are not only healthy, but  are also easy to hand out and involve little or no slicing.

These snacks are easy for the kids and I to eat on-the-go or at home, that require little prep with little mess. You can simply eat them as a snack or double up on them as a meal.

Protein

 Beef Jerky, Beef Sticks, and Cheese Sticks. Classic meat and cheese always fill us up. I have to get out my ice packs for these, so I found  these small, flexible ice packs which fit perfectly in small purses, coolers, and lunch boxes.

 Roasted Chickpeas

I literally take these everywhere. I swear, these are the most amazing snacks ever! These will satisfy your crunchy,  sweet, or salty cravings. If you like homemade corn nuts or popcorn, you will absolutely love these. My oven is constantly crankin’ these things out.

Check the label. I couldn’t believe the high levels of protein, folate, and iron that I found. We eat them as is or sprinkle them on a salad. It’s totally worth your time to try and make these, I promise!

I don’t follow recipes much, but this one will give you a good idea as to how you should make your first batch along with the variety of flavors that you can try.

 Black Beans.

We eat these warm or cold after a quick rinse. A little salt goes a long way when you’re trying to get some extra iron and protein. Traveling with these containers has helped the boys eat their finger foods and it eliminates the plastic bag idea. When I used to sell cloth diapers, I got a free package of these reusable sandwich bags. I love them. I can machine wash them or throw some in the dishwasher!

Hard Boiled Eggs {Peeled}. Okay, these can potentially be messy, but you can stick ’em on a fork and you have less chance for a mess. Sprinkle on some Lawry’s seasoning salt and you’re good! If we need to use a fork, I just put the soiled utensil in these handy, wet bags.

Raw Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds {One of my favorites!}
  • Trail mix
  • Granola

Energy Bars. Cashew Cookie Lara Bars, Clif Kid Organic Z Bars, or the Aldi’s Simply Nature brand are usually what I’ve been packing lately.  Moms are known for having a few extra bars in their bags!

Vegetables

  • Grape tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Mini carrots
  • Broccoli florets
  • Snap peas
  • Mini bell peppers
  • Green beans

I try to wash and cut produce right when we get home from the store. If I don’t, then they don’t always get rinsed before the tiny people just dive in. That’s just the truth of it.  Choosing veggies that don’t need to be cut also makes it easier for the kids to pack on their own. I like how most of these veggies can just pop in your mouth without any slicin’ or dicin’.

Dehydrated Foods

  • Golden raisins
  • Mangoes
  • Cranberries
  • Apricots
  • Apples
  • Banana chips
  • Pineapple

 Fruits

  • Blueberries.
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Clementines
  • Bananas
  • Grapes

I really don’t like traveling with fruit much. Blueberries are good. There’s no pit, no stem, and no peel! This is why I revert to dehydrated foods. Fruit with a peel is easy to pack, but when you have little kids, you have to think about these things! My hands are already full. I don’t want to carry around a banana peel in one hand with a dirty diaper in the other while looking for a garbage can at the zoo. It may just accumulate in your car, stroller, or purse until you find one.

Chips and Crackers

  • Sweet potato chips
  • Snapea and lentil crisps
  • Seed, bean, and grain chips
  • Popcorn
  • Cereal
  • Pretzels

We’ve  been eating Beanitos, Harvest Snaps, Way Better brand, and Aldi’s lately.

Splurge Item

  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Vitamin C pops
  • Popsicles {Have you tried these black bean fudgesicles?}

You gotta add something sweet to your snack stash! A bag of mini chocolate chips can go a long way.  My kids seem to ask for treats less when they know that they can bring their own special treat along.

Drinks

  • Water
  • Juice boxes {Dad buys these!}
  • Powdered drink packets

I have found that individual powdered drink packets have been one of the best ways to save money on beverages. Fairs, amusement parks, and concession stands can definitely put a dent in your wallet when it comes to drinks.  We can fill up our water bottles at a drinking fountain and stow the packets into our backpacks or these handy little things.

There are many ways to pack healthy snacks while you’re traveling. What healthy finger foods do you pack to keep your kids full?

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