When you have 5 kids, budget friendly healthy kid snacks are incredibly important. Megan of NEPA Mom and mom to 5 kids knows all too well the impact 5 hungry kids can have on a budget! She’s sharing her tips for keeping kids filled without breaking the budget.
As a homeschooling mom of five who spends her days at home and her evenings at sports practice the one phrase I hear over and over again is “Mom, can I have a snack?”. With my four older kids, I finally told them that they can get a yogurt, a string cheese or a piece of fruit without asking me–but once they had two, they had to ask me before getting another. It has made them feel more independent and has cut down on the constant requests for food.
Before I serve snacks, I always make sure my kids are truly hungry, and they are not bored and looking for something to do. However, with the rising cost of groceries, I try to save money on snacks whenever I can so I have come up with some ways to save on snacks and keep my kids full until dinnertime.
- Eat fresh fruits and veggies–my kids love it when I cut up green peppers and serve it with a side of Ranch dressing, or when I cut up an apple and add some peanut butter on the side. I also find there is less waste when I cut up an apple because I can have my younger ones share it rather than have them take a few bites off of the apple core and then throw the apple away.
I love the OXO Apple Corer and Divider for cutting up apples! (Editor’s Note)
- Snacks with protein such as hard boiled eggs or string cheese help keep my kids full and will cut down on the snacking so they will consume less snacks overall.
- When serving a snack, I always make sure to serve it with a drink like milk or water. The liquids help fill them up as well and keep them from becoming dehydrated during practice.
- I try to limit the amount of convenience foods that my kids eat. When serving chips or cookies, I transfer a serving of snacks into a bowl and then put the bag away. That way I don’t find them mindlessly eating half a bag of chips or a sleeve of cookies.
- Get baking! Baked goods are wonderful snacks because I can control the ingredients in them and they are very filling. I have a few healthy kid snack recipes such as my Blueberry Breakfast Bars which are great any time of day and make a tasty snack.
- If I must purchase convenience foods or need a special treat, I use coupons and stock up when they are on sale. You can often find coupons online for your favorite snack foods and then use those coupons when the items are on sale to maximize your savings.
- I try to think beyond the typical snack foods, for instance, when we have leftovers I save the small amounts and they serve as quick snacks. I also repurpose the leftovers into other items, such as my Breakfast Burrito recipe, which uses leftover scrambled eggs and taco meat and taste great no matter what time of day.
- Finally, I always try to keep some popcorn on hand. Popcorn is an inexpensive snack and because it is full of fiber it helps fill them up. Add some butter and some seasonings and kids thing they are having a special treat.
These are just some of the ways that I keep my kids fueled up throughout the day and into evening practices.
What are your tips and tricks to keep them fueled up?
Healthy Kid Snack Recipes
- Healthy Kid Snack Recipes: 10 Gluten Free Recipes
- Homeschooling Mom Resource: Healthy Kid Snack Recipes and Lunch Recipes
- Healthy Kid Snack Ideas for Summer
- Healthy Kid Snack: 8 Fruity Summer Drinks
- Healthy Kid Snacks to Make and Freeze
- 5 Easy to Pack Healthy Kid Snacks for School Lunches
- Healthy Kid Snacks: Grain-free Snacks