Snacking is the one area I struggle with the most when it comes to healthy eating. In a hurry or out of connivence, I tend to grab something that is quick or easy. Most of the time though, those “quick or easy” snack options aren’t often the healthiest choices.
Now that my children are getting older (and growing like weeds) they too often ask for snacks later in the day. I want to not only model making good choices for them but I also want them to have a positive attitude when it comes to food.
With school starting up and a new, busier routine that will be taking place, I have been thinking through how to make our days run more smoothly and how to fit in snacks that will help fuel our bodies without compromising any healthy choices.
A few months ago I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I came across an “ah-ha” moment. A busy mom had photographed and shared one of her Sunday evening prep tasks to make her entire week run more smoothly.
So what exactly was she sharing that made me so excited?
Creating a snack drawer for the week!
The idea was genius really… taking a few minutes to put aside different snack options in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator so anyone could grab on their way out the door or when they needed a quick snack.
Her children were older, so I started to think about how I could adapt this system to work for my young family when the idea came to me to create pre-made, portion sized baggies of different snack options for the week.
There are many options at the store for pre-made snacks but I like having control of what is in each snack baggie and not many of the store bought options are foods that I am comfortable purchasing.
Plus it’s not only easy to make your own baggies but it’s also incredibly frugal too!
When thinking through what I wanted our snack baggies to include I thought through some of our favorite snacks and what we like to eat. I’ve always been really lucky to have good eaters who love fruit and vegetables so those where no brainers to include. We also love crunchy, salty and sweet treats too but I wanted to be smart in the way I included sweets in our snack baggies.
Chocolate is hands down our favorite treat and to be even more specific, M&M’S® are our favorite candy. Recently I re-discovered a past favorite that I used to love back in the day, M&M’S® Crispy.
Back by popular demand M&M’S® Crispy returned to shelves nationwide this past January for the first time since 2005. M&M’S® Crispy are a satisfying chocolate treat at 180 calories per singles pack. Made of rich milk chocolate, M&M’S® Crispy have a sweet rice puff center that’s crispy and crunchy and coated in the world-famous candy shell.
I knew that M&M’S® Crispy would be a perfect companion in our snack baggies because they are sweet, crunchy and can help satisfy our sweet tooth without compromising our whole day.
So after making a list of our favorite snacks, I got to work gathering all the ingredients we would need to make a week’s worth of snack baggies in only a few minutes.
Here’s what we came up with, a combination of snack baggies that contains a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, grains and still satisfies the sweet cravings with a little bit of chocolate!
- Carrot and celery sticks – you can easily swap out whatever fresh, family favorite vegetables you have on hand. If you have small baby food jars or other sealed containers, you could easily add some fresh hummus, ranch dip, guacamole or even a nut butter to dip your vegetables in.
- Strawberries and M&M’S® Crispy – because what’s better than strawberries and chocolate?
- Strawberries and grapes – or any in-season fruit combination (apples and pear slices will make a nice treat this fall or pre-peeled oranges or clementines would be perfect in the winter months.
- Whole grain pretzels with M&M’S® Crispys – the perfect combination of a crunchy, salty and sweet treat.
- Fresh from the garden grape tomatoes with a mozzarella cheese stick – does anyone else have kids who eat grape tomatoes like they are candy?
- Air-popped popcorn with M&M’S® Crispy – this is probably my most favorite snack of all!
- Real fruit pouches – my kids LOVE these pouches and I love the connivence too.
- Almonds and M&M’S® Crispy – almonds are my favorite nut but you can swap in your favorite. Peanuts are a great combination too, who doesn’t love a little peanut and chocolate combination?
We used the small snack sized ziplock baggies that hold the perfect amount of snack, enough to leave you fueled and satisfied. I love these small baggies because they fit perfectly in your purse, backpack or lunchbox and are easy to travel with, plus since they seal they don’t spill!
It took us less than 10 minutes to make an entire week’s worth of snack baggies for all four of us. I placed them in a large container that slides easily in the refrigerator or pantry for quick connivence to grab whenever we need one, like when we are heading out of the door. I also made sure they were accessible to my kids for when they are allowed to choose their own snack after afternoon rest time.
What favorite treats do you like to include in your quick and easy snack baggies?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.