At Foost, we love fruits and vegetables. They are crunchy, juicy and oh so colourful. They give us energy and make me feel good from my head to-matoes.
As I sit here and write this, I am actually munching on some crisp, green apple and carrot sticks – a simple, quick, and delicious snack.
As a dietitian, I am often asked about snacking. Should I snack? What makes great snacks? And what snacks can I pop into my child’s lunchbox? And whilst I do have lots of great snack recipes on the Foost website, I sometimes wonder “when did food get so complicated?” Sometimes through all the food marketing, it is easy to forget that snacks can be easy – just think of your favourite colourful fruit and veg.
Fruit and veggies make quick, simple and easy snacks. Here are fruit and veggie snacks for five different situations :
Snacks for kids’ lunchboxes (or adults lunch boxes too)
Eating colourfully is sometimes tricky for little ones (as they can be fussy with veggies). Involving your children in the process (with some structured choice) can help “what orange/yellow would you like in your lunchbox today? Carrot sticks, a mandarin or a banana? You can also try baking with your children on a weekend – maybe some banana bread or muesli cookies? (then freeze them for lunchboxes).
If you can try for a traffic light; some bright reds, yellows/oranges and greens. If your child is still learning to like fruits and veg, then don’t overwhelm them. Go for one colour and slowly add more.
Here are some ideas:
- Fresh or cut fruit; strawberries, apple, banana, mandarin, melon….so many to choose from (for fun, you could slinky the apple or write a note on a banana)
- A small tub filled with plain or Greek yogurt topped with frozen berries
- Veggie sticks with some dip
- Salad on a stick (maybe cherry tomato, a spinach leaf, cheese and olive)
- Sliced cucumber, carrots, capsicum, snow peas or cherry tomatoes
- Frozen peas
- Banana bread
- Kale chips
- Corn on the cob
- Fill a small tub with baked beans
Snacks for the work desk
Today’s world is characterized by a fast-paced culture, where many of us are working at our desks, or in my case, dealing with the demands of a screaming toddler. It can be helpful to be organised for when hunger strikes between mealtimes.
- Piece of fruit – apple, banana, mandarin, pear (which is wrapped in nature and can sit on you desk for a couple of days. Think about getting a nice bowl for your desk and on a Monday bring in fruit for the week. Then each day you can choose what you feel like)
- Veggies – carrot, cucumber, tomatoes or capsicum. Cut them if you want or just wash and munch! Pop them in your desk fruit bowl? Snow peas, cherry tomatoes or how about those cute little baby cucumber?
- A small container of dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Dried fruit provides lots of potassium and a great source of energy. You could try pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, cranberries, almonds, and raisins.
- Rice cakes with sliced banana or cottage cheese and blueberries
- Celery or carrot sticks with peanut butter and raisins
- Greek yogurt with crushed walnuts and berries (maybe keep a bag of frozen berries in your work fridge – remember to name them :))
Snacks to keep in your handbag
You might think eating fruits and veggies is hard if you’re always on the go. However, my handbag is the keeper of many items that are necessary for my survival. Choices like yogurt and bananas, do risk exploding during transit if not careful. So, here are my portable eats that you can carry in your handbag.
- Box of raisins
- Dried apricots – great choice if you want more fibre and vitamin A
- Small container of a trail mix – make your own version out of raisins, nuts, pumpkin seed, and dark chocolate chips. You’re in control of the ingredients
- Red capsicum and celery sticks in a container
- Whole apple
- Pitted olives in a container. Yum! And full of antioxidants.
Road trip snacks
Long drives with kids can mean you might be looking for snacks and plenty of water. When eating in the car, it’s always best to keep to foods that will not cause a messy disaster. (and remember safety, don’t give small children snacks unsupervised)
- Prepared carrot sticks and apple slices (sometimes I don’t even cut them up for my older kids)
- Cauliflower or broccoli florets
- Radishes or snow peas
- Veggie sticks with homemade hummus, guacamole dip (or store bought, store bought is fine, look for low sodium options)
- Mandarins and apricots
- Baby tomatoes
Family time – snacks you can make together
I love hanging out with the family, and cooking is a great way to spend time together. Sharing and making food with the family. Think of it as a craft activity. Snacks can sometimes be quicker and easier to make with kids then other dishes. So what can you make with your kids as snacks?
- Fruit smoothies
- Watermelon on a stick – why not shape into stars?
- Strawberries dipped in yogurt and coconut or white, dark, and milk chocolate
- Frozen grapes (try dipping in yogurt then freezing)
- Strawberry and nice cream (simply blend frozen bananas and strawberries)
- Cherry tomato and halloumi skewers (marinate in garlic, lemon juice, or olive oil and then grill)
- Cherry tomato, basil and baby bocconcini on tooth picks
Sweet potato fries
- Make your own yoghurt (plain or Greek yoghurt and kids can add nuts, seeds, coconut, frozen berries, oats…)
- Watermelon pizza, ladybird crackers or beetroot tzatziki with salad on a stick (see our collection of kids in the kitchen recipes here).
So…..we’d just like to say that fruit and veggies make berry great snacks. Give peas a chance (how about frozen for a snack?)
Let’s bring more orange, red, green, yellow, purple and blue into our lives both at meal and snack time.
What are your favourite fruit and veg to snack on?