ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Snacks for Children

Updated on May 31, 2012
The fruit bowl with washed and ready to eat fruit.  Available for hungry children.
The fruit bowl with washed and ready to eat fruit. Available for hungry children.

Help, they're hungry NOW!

Let's begin with a few words of advice about snacks. Children do get hungry more often than adults. They have smaller stomachs and eat smaller portions at a time, and they are burning off WAY more energy than your typical adult. Therefore, it is wise to keep an eye on the clock and anticipate the snack request. There are two important reasons for this. First you will be ready with an idea (preferably something healthy), and second you can serve the snack before it is so close to meal time that it will spoil their appetite.

Since I try to keep the cost of groceries as low as possible I do not keep pre-packaged snacks on hand. This is good for the grocery budget, but sometimes difficult when you have a host of children looking up at you and begging for a snack.

A few favourites at our house are snack kabobs, apple boats, peanut butter crackers with sprinkles, popcorn, trailmix and anything with cheese.


The snack kabob

Snack kabobs can hold anything you have on hand that your children will enjoy. You can use fruit, cheese, cubes of meat, pickles, marshmallows, bread etc. Sometimes you can introduce a new item along with some favourites and because it is on a stick they will be interested in trying it.

Just a word of caution regarding the kabob sticks, they usually get used as miniature swords, so this may not be the best choice depending on the age of your children. I also try to gather up the sticks as quickly after snack time as possible to avoid having these little 'swords' ferreted away to be used later in 'sword fights'.

Apple Boats

Apple boats are a fun snack; delicious, nutritious and easy to make. Within minutes you can assemble an entire flotilla of apple boats.

Simply quarter several apples, cut some cheese into triangles and insert a toothpick through the cheese and into the apple to create a sail.

Typically any snack that can be played with before being eaten is a hit at my house. The boats get sailed around their plate before they get disassembled and eaten.

Peanut butter crackers with sprinkles

This snack was born out of desperation. I needed to feed a troop of hungry children and they looked rather disappointed with the plain soda crackers with a pat of peanut butter, so I shook on a few sprinkles and it became an instant success. Cheery, relatively nutritious and much cheaper than packaged snacks. It was requested on many occasions. The sprinkles can also be substituted with chocolate chips if you are feeling particularly sweet.

When it's too close to a meal

If you missed the best time for serving snack and you have children declaring that they will expire if they don't have a snack instantly, despite the fact that it is only half an hour until mealtime, I have found a few ways to deal with this.

The snack I offer is slightly different than it would have been an hour earlier. I usually make sure it is raw veggies or fruit. I figure it really doesn't matter if they eat a serving or two of fruit and vegetables before their meal. It may not be their first choice, but if you put out a platter of vegetables and fruit and don't allow any other choice, they will nibble on the healthy snack you offer.

Also, it could be a glass of milk. Milk fills a hungry tummy and is better than the empty calories in sugary treats, juice or crackers.

A handful of nuts, sunflower seeds or a slice of cheese can also offer a bit of substance and curb the hunger pains until dinner is served.

The carrot stick container that I always keep in the fridge.
The carrot stick container that I always keep in the fridge.

The challenge

Snacks are a challenge in every home. The pre-packaged snacks are expensive, and typically rather unhealthy; therefore, it is best to have a plan and a few staples on hand. In our home these staples include fruit, veggies, cheese, milk, peanut butter, peanuts or trailmix and popping corn.

I have experimented with many things and have served some really strange snacks. Any leftover has the potential of becoming a snack.

Leftover pancakes, dry cereal mixed with a few mini marshmallows, cinnamon toast, mini pitas stuffed with leftover meat or egg salad (a huge favourite), small mashed potato pancakes (not a favourite here), a bit of soup served in a mug, fried potatoes made from leftover boiled potatoes served with ketchup and a sprinkle of salt ... the list goes on.

Serve these 'meal type' foods in small portions, but it is a great way to use up leftovers instead of keeping then in your fridge until you just end up throwing them out.

Remember: Be prepared, have an idea in mind before the snack request is made. Use up leftovers and if it is too close to a meal serve fresh vegetables or fruit.

Don't be afraid to create some strange snacks.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)