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Real Food for Real Kids: Smart Snacking Guide

As I was saying yesterday in my post about my new favorite on-the-go snack bars, eating healthy does NOT have to mean sacrificing taste. When you’re at a grocery store, there are so darn many products marketed as “kids snacks” – covered in cartoon images, and packed full of sugar, coloring agents, and yucky additives that your kids sure don’t need. But there’s an easy solution – if you take just a little time each weekend to plan and prepare snacks for the week ahead, you can feed your kids REAL foods that they’ll love to eat, and you’ll love serving.

smart snacking for kids

Exploring new tastes

I printed this out to go into my Meal Planning binder, so I can put together great snacks for Abby and the boys each week. I seriously love these ideas – there are a ton of traditional snacks that are fun for kids, like ants on a log, creative healthy alternatives to things like sugary fruit roll-ups, and new tastes that kids will love trying out like hummus and baby carrots. You would be surprised by how many great “real” foods kids will love – they don’t have to survive on just chicken nuggets and candy-like fruit snacks. They’ll love experiencing new tastes like edamame, or popcorn with lime juice, cumin, and garlic powder! The earlier you start giving them cool new things to try, the more adventurous eaters they’ll become as they get bigger! {Abby loves salmon, sugar snap peas and ranch, and eggplant!}

California Raisin cartoon

California Raisins’ Let’s Keep It Real Healthy Snack Challenge

California Raisins are an all-natural, no-added-sugar snack you can feel good about giving your family, and are a perfect fit for daily snacking. To help more moms discover what a great choice they are for kids snacks {and for you, too!} they’re running a super fun promotion: California Raisins is asking you & your family to pledge to enjoy all-natural, no-added-sugar snacks – like California Raisins – for one week.

Sign up for the Let’s Keep It Real Healthy Snack Challenge on Facebook and you’ll be automatically entered to win one of five prize packs that include $1,000 in cash and other goodies to get your healthy snacking on. How awesome is THAT?

How do you incorporate real foods into your snacks while still trying to save time and keep it simple?

I admit it, there are many times that I buy those big boxes of pre-packaged bags of chips for the kids, or other unhealthy junk. But I’m getting better all the time at stocking up on healthy stuff. Here are a few of my best tips on building better snacks:

  1. Snack Ideas: Print out this great snack planning chart on the page, and get a fun book like Healthy Lunch Boxes and Snacks to inspire some really great daily snack ideas. You’ll also find loads of ideas on my Fun Kids Snacks board on Pinterest.
  2. Perfect Portions: My absolute favorite containers are the EasyLunchboxes Bento Box Set! They’re BPA free, really sturdy, and make it so easy to build great snacks for the week. Instead of buying Lunchables that are packed full of sodium and fat – make your own little snack packs with California Raisins, cheese cut into fun shapes or cubes, and celery with peanut butter!
  3. Choose Real: If the only options in the house are good, healthy, real foods – that’s what the kids’ll eat! Make a snack box in the fridge, and another box in a cupboard – buy a few Itzy Ritzy Baby Reusable Snack Bag, or some of the fun new Ziploc bags with cartoon characters, and fill ’em with healthy snacks. Then the kids can just grab a great snack each day when they need one – and you know that they’re getting the good vitamins and stuff that they need.

So – If you’re ready to take the California Raisins’ Let’s Keep It Real Healthy Snack Challenge on Facebook too – join today! And I’d love to hear your best snack tips too – share ’em in the comments!

 {Disclosure: I participated in this campaign as a member of One2One Network and am eligible for a prize drawing. All opinions stated in the post are my own.}



  1. I like your idea of putting that chart into your meal planning binder. I usually purchase the pre-washed, cut veggies to have on hand for healthy snacking.

  2. I love this chart! Thank you so much for sharing it. I am struggling to find snacks for my son who loves peanut butter crackers and chicken nuggets. This gives me some great ideas for other things to try with him!

  3. Great ideas! I wish my kids liked more interesting foods, but they DO like lots of healthy snacks, so this is a great guide. I’ll print it out too. :)

  4. Love this healthy snack list…saving it for ideas for my kids snacks

  5. I cannot stop laughing at myself right now! I have to beg to differ with your post – the California Raisins are a band of singing raisins that sing “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”! LOL

    It’s so odd because my kids used to LOVE raisins and now they hate them. They are such quick, easy, healthy snacks!

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