Healthy snacks for kids on the go
Try these healthy, easy-to-make snacks that will keep your kids energized and feeling full until they’re ready for dinner.
Homemade Power Bars
These dense and delicious press-in-the-pan energy squares are a good source of protein and also make use of chia seeds (an excellent source of omega-3s and fibre), sesame seed tahini (rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium) and oat bran (which, like oatmeal, contains B complex vitamins and heart healthy soluble fibre).
Chef’s Tip: Keep your eye out for chia seeds in the Health and Organic section of your grocery store, or in health food stores. If your family has a real sweet tooth, use sweetened nut butter or substitute sweetened coconut for the unsweetened.
- 2 cups room-temperature peanut butter (use soy butter to make this recipe nut-free)
- ½ cup room-temperature tahini
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups oat bran
- 3/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds, divided
- ¼ cup chia seeds (or sesame seeds)
- 1 cup finely chopped pitted dates
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- Add nut butter, tahini, maple syrup and canola oil into a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
- Stir in cocoa powder, oat bran, ½ cup sunflower seeds, chia seeds, dates, and coconut.
- Line an 8 inch (2 L) square glass or metal pan with aluminum foil so it overhangs pan.
- Press mixture into pan and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sunflower seeds.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, until firm.
- To serve, lift squares out of pan using aluminum foil. Cut into 32 bars.
Secretly Sweet Squares
These delicious squares are perfect for little fingers to grab on the go and hide fruit, flax and beta-carotene rich sweet potato in their depths. They also use agave nectar which has a much lower glycemic index than sugar. If you can’t find agave, honey makes a great alternative.
Chef’s Tip: To quickly cook the sweet potato, prick with a fork and microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes or until very soft, then peel when cool enough to handle.
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup agave nectar or honey
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 medium cooked sweet potato, mashed
- 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
- ½ cup apple sauce (or one individual container)
- ½ cup dried cherries or raisins
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts or pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Preheat oven to 350 DF. Spray an 8 inch (2 L) square glass pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl stir together flour, oats, baking powder, salt, flax and cinnamon and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl whisk together oil and agave.
- Whisk in egg, then mashed sweet potato, mashed banana and apple sauce.
- Add flour mixture into wet ingredients in three additions, stirring until well combined.
- Then stir in cherries and walnuts. Scrape batter into pan and use spatula to smooth top.
- Bake in centre of oven until squares are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely before cutting. Yields 16 squares.
These little balls are perfect for breakfast on the go or for tucking into lunchboxes because they are nut free (just make sure to use a nut-free cereal) but pack a whop of protein from milk powder – they are like your cereal, milk and fruit all rolled into one portable snack. If you are not worried about allergies, feel free to substitute the soy butter with regular peanut. They are fun to make for kids, so be sure to let them help shape and roll the balls in coconut.
- 1 cup smooth soy butter
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk powder
- 1/3 cup crushed favourite cereal (such as granola or rice krispies)
- 1/3 cup each crushed banana chips and dried cranberries
- Sweetened coconut for rolling
- In a large bowl stir together soy butter and canola oil until well combined.
- Then stir in milk powder, cereal, banana chips and cranberries.
- Knead ingredients with hands to form dough.
- With damp hands, shape into tablespoon-sized balls and roll in sweetened coconut.
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm. Makes about 18 balls.