Kids love the wow factor, and cartoon-themed packaging of supermarket snacks. But if you’re looking for more economical–and nutritious–ways to fuel your little ones or big ones, grab a snack bag and toss together these ingredients, stuff into a diaper bag, back pack or briefcase to handle hunger in a hurry.
Store-bought mixes can have unwanted sugar and fat, so it’s better to make your own and control ingredient amounts, portion properly and customize for each family member. Try tossing together any of the following: dried fruits like cherries, blueberries and cut-up apricots, without added sugar. Try nuts like almonds and hazelnuts; shelled sunflower seeds; yogurt-covered raisins; pretzel sticks; granola or your favorite healthy cereal.
Famous as the most nutritional nut, almonds are power-packed with vitamin E, protein, fiber and a slew of other nutrients. They contain healthy unsaturated fat, which helps you feel full and is good for your heart. Plan to add a hand full of these nuts to all your snack concoctions.
Here are a few combinations to get you started on the road to wholesome and healthier snacking, one step at a time.
Bear Mix: 1 cup each of Teddy Grahams, Cheerios, raisins, mini pretzels, and half cup of chocolate chips.
Crunchy Munchy: 1 cup each of pretzels, Rice or Corn Chex, Cheerios, peanuts, Craisins. Stir in a half cup M&M’s.
Super Snack: 1 cup each of Life, Cheerios, and Corn Pops cereals, pistachios and golden raisins.
Animal Cracker Sandwiches: Animal crackers, low-fat strawberry cream cheese, sliced strawberries. Lay the crackers flat side up, slather with flavored cream cheese, top with a sliced berry and top with the second animal cracker.