Friday, October 2, 2015

Healthy, Unprocessed Snacks for Kids

Why Unprocessed Snacks?

If you have kids, then you probably hear "I'm hungry" several times a day. Sometimes my kids have not even finished eating a meal when they start asking for a snack.

Although it is tempting to pull out some packaged treat from the pantry you do need to think of the effects of those convenient snack packs on their health, the environment, and of course, your wallet.

Below I will share with you some ideas for keeping a well stocked pantry of healthy, unprocessed and inexpensive snacks that will keep your kids happy...and inevitably, asking for more.

Use Amazon Prime Pantry to Stock Up

Find clean eating staples on Amazon for less


Having trouble finding clean eating pantry staples near you? Or are they just ridiculously expensive at your local store? Try using Amazon's new service, Amazon Prime Pantry, to create a pantry box full of essentials to get you on your way to clean eating and snacking.

Another way for Amazon Prime members to get the most out of their membership, Prime Pantry allows users to fill a large "Pantry box" with everyday sized staples at low prices. No buying in bulk with the excess and waste associated with that. Just every day sizes at Amazon low prices - and the ability to take advantage of Amazon coupons that can save you up to 25%. Then the box ships for only $5.99 - no matter the contents.

How would I fill my clean eating Pantry box?Here are some options below.


Pop some Popcorn

We all love salty, crunchy snacks. But before you reach for the chips and pretzels, take a second look at popcorn. Not the buttery, over-salted kind that comes in microwaveable bags with questionable chemical additives. It is surprisingly easy AND cheap to make a bag of microwave popcorn with some kernels and a brown paper bag. Here is an easy step-by-step guide. This home made version can be entirely salt and fat free if you so wish. Or else a little melted butter, salt or even a shake of Old Bay seasoning can be added for some salty, spicy kick. And at $0.13 a serving, nothing could be cheaper. I picked up some movie theater style popcorn containers at the Target $1 bin which make this treat even more fun for the kids.


Organize Your Healthy Pantry

Ball Jars and OXO Containers Make it Easy!


When I kicked the processed food habit, one thing I noticed was that my pantry was a mess of plastic bags from the bulk bins. I went out and bought glass canning jars to get myself organized and I love the way my pantry looks now. All my jars are lined up neatly and I can immediately take stock of what I have, what is running low, and what I need to replenish. These jars are available seasonally in grocery stores, and year-round on

Perfect for storing popcorn, nuts, dried fruit and beans...and anything else you can imagine. Make sure you pick up a wide mouth funnel and wax pencils for easy filling and labeling too.
Half Gallon Wide Mouth Canning Jars come in a pack of 6 and are perfect for storing snacks, soaking grains and even making sun tea!. Get the lowest price at


Save on OXO Good Grips Food Storage on Amazon

OXO 10-Piece Good Grips Pop Containers SetThese square containers by OXO Good Grips are the perfect space savers for your healthy pantry. Click to see all sizes on Amazon and maximize your pantry space with their smart, space saving design. 

Cut up Some Fruit

Make it fresh AND fast

We all want to give our kids fresh fruit to snack on, but it always seems like a hassle when it comes to prep time - washing, peeling, slicing....they just want their snack NOW! Plus, if you don't keep on top of it, fruit can go bad in the fridge. Here are some of the easiest options to help you always be ready with a fresh, sweet treat you can feel good about.

Apples are tops when it comes to a versatile, long lasting treat. In stores year round and reasonably priced, these can be sliced and served with a dip (peanut butter, or honey) or just tossed whole at older kids who enjoy eating them straight off the core. I keep my apple slicer handy and have even considered buying a second one because many times when I need it it is siting in the dishwasher, dirty from the last apple.

Serving up some apples or pears? Make it fast and easy with a corer/slicer!

Other easy snacks include Grapes and blueberries (no cutting required!). I also love watermelon and pineapple because once you put the effort in to cut them up you have a good amount of fruit which can last a few days in the fridge. Take a look below for some great tools which make fruit prep easy and fun.

healthy unprocessed veggie snacks for kids

Slice up Some Veggies

Believe it or not, there ARE vegetables that your child will eat


Admittedly, it's not easy getting kids to eat their veggies. But a little perseverance and a lot of dip does pay off. Don't be dissuaded if your kids turn their noses up at these snacks at first. Research shows you have to put a new food in front of a child multiple times before they develop a taste for it. And while you are waiting for them to catch on, you can finish those healthy snacks they leave behind.

The cheapest and easiest by far are carrots. Some like baby carrots for the convenience factor, but I have found that large carrots - the kind that come in a cello bag for about $1 - are tastier by far. I prep a whole bunch of them at the beginning of the week and put them in a plastic container with a little bit of water to keep them moist. My daughter likes them dipped in peanut butter (but then again she likes everything dipped in peanut butter) but home made hummus or a creamy veggie dip or even honey mustard are great options too.

Some other easy veggies to prep and store for a weeks worth of snacks include:
-- Cauliflower
-- Cucumbers
-- Red, yellow and orange peppers
-- Celery

Get Baking!

You might think that snacks like pretzels, goldfish crackers and animal crackers are purchase-only treats, but you would be surprised to know how easy it is to make wholesome, unprocessed versions of these in your own kitchen. The time put in is well worth the reward.

These snacks are fun to eat AND make, and will store well in airtight containers - so feel comfortable making a double batch for future snacking. Here are some of my favorite recipes:



A sweet crunchy snack for anytime

Granola is a versatile snack. Serve it with milk as a breakfast cereal, dry as a snack of fashioned into bars or squares as a treat. You can alter almost any granola recipe to suit your family's tastes - replace raisins with cranberries, walnuts with almonds, etc.
Granola stores well - keep it in an airtight container and it can stay fresh for weeks. It is high in fiber and protein. And best of all, making your own granola is not only easy, but also cost efficient compared to its cost at the grocery store.

Although granola gets a bad rap for being high in fat and sugar, you will find that you can adapt any recipe to make it more healthy without compromising the taste, and create a snack that your family will crave.

Below are some of my picks for healthy, easy granola recipes.

Buy Bulk Pecans on Amazon for a Great Price

Anna and Sarah Shelled Georgia Pecans 2 Lbs
Anna and Sarah Shelled Georgia Pecans 2 Lbs
The Georgia pecans sold in bulk on Amazon get great reviews and are a Best Seller. Click here to see the price.