Healthy snacks for the playground

I am writing this guide on how to make your kids healthy snacks for the playground because I get asked all the time in the playground we go: How do you avoid giving your daughter store bought snacks like potato chips?

Well, I am one of those moms who only gives her kid organic food. It's by choice and I am very passionate about it too. I am one of those moms who bakes sweets and makes ice cream with organic fruit and no sugar. I am one of those moms who bakes a birthday cake three times a year for our birthdays. And I am one of those moms who always brings her kids a snack in a birthday party in order to avoid letting her eat a store bought birthday cake. Truth be told, she always prefers strawberries when I ask her!

healthy snacks for the playground

In other words I am one of those moms who always carries around a food bag! That way I am always ready for my daughter's question: "What's there to eat?".

However, the most common sight in our playground is that of kids with bags of cookies and chips, puffs and candy! Many of the other kid's moms ask me how do I get my daughter to eat so much fruit, how is it that she eats veggie sticks and if I cook all day!

Well first of all I don't "make" my daughter do or eat anything! I am there to provide her with options and she picks out what she wants to eat. Secondly, I don't cook all day and lastly read below to find out how little time I spend in order to always have healthy snacks with me and how you can do it too!

Please note: My kid is considered an easy eater. Since she was 6 month old she has been eating just about anything. I think it's a combination of her nature and the fact that we struggled to provide every possible taste since she was very young and we never gave her heavily processed store bought food or sugar. We follow the motto: "however much she wants, whenever she wants it" and we never prompt her or pressure her to eat. She asks about food and tells us what she wants to eat. Regardless of the fact that she's never had sugar, I always make healthy treats for her. Cookies, ice creams and sweets with honey, dates etc are always around. I know there are parents out there with kids commonly known as "picky eaters". I think you can still get some ideas from this post and this is by no means written to shame you!

ideas for healthy playground snacks

Healthy snacks for the playground

"Do you cook all day?"

Hell, no, I don't cook all day! When do you think I find time to crochet/knit, lol! It's just a matter of organization and if my husband reads this he is going to die laughing! I am not going to lie! I used to leave the house like I didn't have a kid and there where times when I needed to get back or get her some bread to eat from a bakery. Thankfully I am married to Mr Perfect Organization and I became an organized person (kinda) too.

Our system is quite simple: We always have hard boiled eggs around. We get glass food containers from IKEA (I will do another post about why we don't use plastic ones). We have a very nice handy food bag from Penny Scallan with lots of room for the food containers, her fruit and her water bottle (a glass one from IKEA). This bag also has a thermal compartment which comes in very handy for our hot weather and keeps the sensitive food from going bad.

We throw in a couple of spoons and a knife (carefully wrapped in paper towels) and we are set!

pennyscallan bags

This bag is ideal and it will save you a lot of money from buying junk from the store!

We add her fruit, eggs, cereal (cooked for 15-20 minutes which is easy right?) and we are set to go!

There are times when for one reason or the other she misses lunch and I take her lunch with me to the playground. It's really easy to just wash up and eat there!

what to feed your kid in the playground


Healthy snacks for the playgroung

"How is it that she enjoys fruit so much?"

In order to answer to this question I will need to write a couple of more posts. What I am going to tell you know is the short version. It's all about what you offer to the kid early on. When she was 6 months old and we started baby led weaning and giving her solids we strived to offer her all (appropriate for her age) options. She loved some and she didn't care for some others. But we didn't stop offering them because for some the taste is aquired. For example she adored grapefruit while now the only way she asks for a banana is if she's at the supermarket sitting in the cart.

It's important to offer all tastes early on, so your kids will learn to enjoy healthy snacks when they are in the playground or in the house for that matter!

It's also important to avoid giving our kids overly processed food, especially in early years. Apart from the fact that these are not real food and they don't have any nutritional value for the kid, they may cause the kid to refuse some tastes later on. Imagine what will happen if your kid's taste buds come into contact with all the taste enhancers these junk food has. Even if you do it once in a while, danger remains that they will not like the more subtle tastes the real and healthy food has to offer. 

Healthy snacks for the playground

 - Fruit

It's really as simple as putting the fruit in the food bag. If they need a little optical stimulation consider making fruit skewers.

Another great way to give fruit is to make them into chips. All kids love chips right?

Check out this recipe for banana chips which used to be my favorite growing up!

banana chips

 - Veggie sticks

Some carrots, cucumber or celery and anything else your kid enjoys. Just add lemon and your are set in minutes!

- Homemade nut and seeds bars

 Here is a nice recipe for healthy date bars

food photo of a date bar

- Homemade cookies

Check out my recipe for sugar free cinnamon cookies

sugar free honey cookies recipe

and also here for my sugan free vegan orange cookies

Sugar free vegan orange cookies recipe

 - Energy balls

They are super easy and kids love them!

Check out these savory energy balls

three bowls with vegan energy balls

here are my choco bites which are an instang hit!

choco bites

Healthy snacks for the playground

Food for thought: How did we get from eating homemade snacks as kids to giving our kids a variety of 20+ different cookies as a snack?