For those of you who, like me, are home with the kids all the time, you know that their appetites are bottomless. After breakfast, and second breakfast, and lunch, and afternoon snack, and dinner and dessert, you may feel like you never get out of the kitchen! Although I love to bake, I have nutritional qualms about feeding cookies and sweets for all the snacks my family wants during the week. This started me working on some snack ideas which are not sweets, but would contribute to a positive nutritious balance to the day’s meals.
While I enjoy a bell pepper or a sweet potato for a snack, that is not something that flies for the kids. They usually eat either fresh or home-canned fruit (peaches, pears or apricots) for one snack per day. They complain if that is ALL there is for snack in the house, though. While snacks like crackers and peanut butter or popcorn are okay occasionally, I usually prefer to save the peanut butter for lunch (!) and crackers always seem like a waste of money to me. There are enough cooks in our house to make cookies every day, but that could hardly be said to be nutritious.
Here are some quick foods we have eaten this week for snack. Try out these “regular” foods at snack time, and see how they leave your horde feeling.
1. Egg “quesadillas”. This is not truly a quesadilla, since queso implies cheese. Instead, I melt a tiny bit of butter in a skillet, add a scrambled egg, and swirl to spread.
As the egg begins to set on the bottom, top it with a corn tortilla and another tiny pat of butter. After about 30 seconds to 1 minute, flip the egg over so the tortilla side is down. Allow to fry for another 30 seconds or so, until the egg is mostly cooked. Fold in half.
Allow to brown slightly on each side before serving. This would also work with a little cheese sprinkled over the egg so that you could have a real “quesadilla.” We sometimes eat these for breakfast or lunch, 2 or 3 at a time. Just one makes a nice quick mid-morning snack with a good protein boost to stave off hunger pangs.
2. Tuna salad. Lucy loves tuna. When we make tuna sandwiches, she often asks for some more tuna salad “on the side.” With this in mind, I mixed up a can of tuna with a little mayo, salt and homemade zucchini relish. She ate the whole thing with gusto. Another snack problem solved.
3. Hard boiled eggs or egg salad. This is another idea we often reserve for lunch, but everyone likes these by themselves or with a slice of bread.
Some other snack ideas I am exploring: homemade pudding (tapioca, anyone?), fresh bread, homemade tortillas. Obviously, I must love to cook! What are some of your favorite ideas for snacky kids? Please leave a comment below.