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Got busy kids? If they are anything like mine, they probably come home from school starved and in need of snackage. Here’s how to meal prep snacks so there’s something ready for those ravenous on-the-go kids.
On weekends, I like to do lunch meal prep and meal planning for our dinners. But that’s not all. When you meal prep snacks, you ensure that there’s something fast, easy and grab-and-go for your on-the-go kids when they come home from a tiring sports practice or long rehearsal.
Plus, planning ahead means you can make sure your cabinets are perfectly stocked (hint: If your kids love peanut butter, you’re going to want Windstone Farms Creamy Peanut Butter Portable Packets in there! More on that later.)
But how do you do that? And what should you meal prep?
Choosing the right snacks for the right kid
Snacks are snacks, right? Not quite. Different people — and bodies — have different needs. To find the right snacks for your kids, you need to consider a few things first:
- What have they been doing? A kid coming straight home from school won’t need the same snack as the kid coming home from a sports practice. The kid coming home from school needs an energy pick me up while the kid coming home from practice needs more — they need extra nutrition since they’ve been exercising.
- What, if any, dietary restrictions do they have? This is always a consideration. My daughter, for instance, has an expander and can’t eat nuts, sticky foods or too-hard foods. That means that easy grab-and-go snacks like granola bars and almonds aren’t for her.
- What do they like? Personal preferences matter. Sure, it would be great to have your kids come home wanting to snack on apples but if they aren’t a fan of the fruit, it’s not a good snack for them — ever.
- What do they feel like having? Crunchy? Soft? Sweet? Salty. Again, preference matters.
It’s a good idea to have a few options for snacks on hand so kids can grab something that both meets their needs and their wants.
Energy Pick-Me-Up Snacks
The afternoon slump is NO JOKE. That’s why easy energy pick-me-up snacks are good to have on hand. These snacks are good for an afternoon boost of energy. Plus, they are quick and easy.
- whole-grain toast
- trail mix
- hard boiled eggs
- hummus and veggies
- peanut butter
Psst! That’s a shoppable image!
These snacks are great for active kids — especially those who have been at sports practices or dance classes. Protein helps muscles recover, repair and get stronger after exercise. Plus, it’s really good for your body, which relies on it for building and repairing tissues, making enzymes and building strong bones.
- Peanut butter and celery
- Peanut butter and apples
- A spoonful of peanut butter
- Turkey deli meat rolled up with cheese and veggies
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Chocolate milk
- Roasted chickpeas
- Oatmeal with chia seeds
How to Meal Prep Snacks
Okay, now that you know what snacks you want to have on hand for your kids, it’s time to prep them.
Fruits and veggies that can be stored cut up like celery, carrot sticks and bell pepper strips should be cut up and stored in portion-sized containers.
Fruits that don’t keep well cut up should be kept whole. These include bananas, apples and sometimes strawberries.
Nuts should be portioned into 1-oz portions. I have cut little metal containers that are perfect for tips on storing and packing foods, how to create protein-rich snacks on the go, choosing the right snack for the right kid, etc.
Keep snack foods together — refrigerated items in the fridge on a shelf together and nonperishables on the same shelf of a cabinet or storage unit. This will make for easy grabbing when kids get home.
How Windstone Farms Can Help with Snacking
Have you met Windstone Farms Creamy Peanut Butter Portable Packets yet? These easy, portable packets are perfect for snacking at home or on-the-go. They are a convenient 1.15oz squeezable packet of naturally gluten-free peanut butter that has a whopping 7 grams of protein.
This is perfect for kids like my daughter, who loves to spread peanut butter on banana as she eats it. With the squeezable package, this is super easy!
Also cool: it comes in a TSA-approved size so it’s great for travel too.
Windstone Farms is a family-owned and operated company that’s been around for 35 years. But these Windstone Farms Peanut Butter Packets are new to Walmart shelves — and great for keeping handy for snacking. (Psst! If you are an online grocery shopper, they are available that way too.)
Want to try it? Ibotta has a special coupon — Earn .50 cents back while supplies last.
Snacking on the Go
Snacks? Prepped! Now your kids are ready to grab nutritious foods to replenish the nutrients that have fueled them through the school day and beyond. And, these snacks are also great for grab-and-go on the run too. Pack perishables in an insulated container with ice packs.
What’s your favorite nutritious on-the-go snack?
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.