As a mom of three kids twelve and under, someone is always hungry! Just when I have finished cleaning up one meal, it seems like everyone is ready for a snack!! Needless to say, I like to always have a few ready-to- go snacks on hand in my fridge and pantry for whenever hunger strikes my family. I have a few criteria when it comes to winning snacks:
- Is it simple and quick to prepare?
- Are the ingredients wholesome and unprocessed (as much as possible)
- Can I take it on the go (for those days when we are running to and fro)?
Most importantly, is the snack healthy, delicious and fun to eat? That makes mom and the kids happy! There is an abundance of healthy packaged vegan snack options for both kids and adults in stores these days. I like to balance these convenience foods with fresh vegetables and fruit based snacks that I don’t feel guilty about giving my kids (or stealing a bite from). Below are a few of my favorite go-to snack recipes, as well as products that my kids (and I) love.
Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Squares and White Cheddar Puffs are two of my favorite go-to packaged snacks for road trips. They are also easy to package into lunch boxes or snack packs during the day.
For a DIY snack mix, this is a quick and easy recipe that is usually gone within hours after making it:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spread 6 cups of rice “Chex” style cereal on a baking sheet, along with 1/8 cup of melted vegan butter and seasoning mix. Toss to combine well.
3. On another baking sheet, spread 6 cups of pretzels and 1/8 cup of melted butter. Toss to combine well.
4. Bake both the cereal and pretzels for 10 minutes.
5. Allow to cool and combine the pretzels, cereal, and popcorn in a bowl.
6. Store in an airtight container for about a week.
Another one of my favorite packaged snacks are Beanfields Snacks Chips. They come in many different varieties. Ranch, BBQ, Nacho, and Pico de Gallo are a few of my favorite flavors. They also have some unflavored white bean and black bean varieties that taste great with homemade or store-bought salsa and hummus.
For a quick and easy DIY hummus, combine 1 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), ¼ cup of vegetable broth, 1 head of roasted garlic, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
Switch out vegetables for the chips above for a greener snack. I love to make veggie “sandwiches” for my kids, cutting cucumbers and carrots into slices and then spreading hummus between them. Try a fruit “sandwich” by doing the same thing with slices from a cored apple and using your favorite nut butter. My favorite is Earth Balance’s Coconut Peanut Butter for its creamy texture and original taste.
My kids are huge avocado fans so we make a lot of guacamole. Just scoop out the fruit of 4-6 small avocados into a bowl. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and season with salt. Mash together until smooth. Serve this with sliced cucumbers and carrots or your favorite chip. For extra fun, make a guacamole boat by spreading a tablespoon (or two!) of guacamole inside an endive leaf or celery stick. Top with chopped cilantro and sliced black olives.
Kebabs are super easy to make and kids love them. Cut up bit size pieces of apples, pineapple, watermelon, or whatever fruit your family loves, and skewer the pieces onto sticks with strawberries and grapes. Serve the kebabs with a non-dairy yogurt such as Kite Hill’s almond yogurt. Their vanilla flavor makes a great dip for this snack.
About the Author:
Stephanie Dreyer is the founder of VeegMama, a vegan lifestyle brand that shares her passion for living deliciously and compassionately; the host of YouTube’s VeegMama Channel; and author. Her children’s book, Not A Nugget, and eBook, VeegMama’s Guide To Going Vegan, are both available on Amazon.