Food on the Go…Snack Jars

May is the month of traveling for my family. First off, I am preparing to spend a week visiting family and friends in South Carolina and Georgia. Then I will be back home for one more week before leaving again to vacation at the beach.

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Trying to maintain a healthy, whole foods diet while being out of the home for an extended time can be challenging and requires a certain amount of planning. I plan to share more of what kinds of foods I like to prepare ahead of time and travel with before we go on trips in an upcoming post.

For now, I am going to share a simple idea for having healthy snacks on the go.

Snacks can serve many purposes. They give you the energy you need to make it to the next meal. They provide an opportunity to get in another serving of vegetables or fruits. They can satisfy a craving. And they can double as nourishment and fun.

I do not give my children these snack jars everyday. Instead, I save them for occasions when I want the whole snack process to take a little bit longer and become an activity in and of itself.

For example, my children sit with us during church every week. Our service is on the longer side, with a ten-minute break in the middle. Following the ten minute break, they need to sit for about another hour before church is over. The boys know that they get their snack after the break. The snack jars help to not only satiate their appetites, but also occupy their attention during the service. This may change in the future, but for my three-year-old and two-year-old, it’s a good aid.

Another time I like to use these snack jars is when we are in the car going on trips. Again, stretching out a simple snack into a way to pass the time and a nourishing treat all in one.

So, what do I mean by snack jar?

Layers of snack food in a mason jar. I try to include different types of food and include a small treat on the bottom.  One layer is eaten to get to the next. Keeping it all in a jar helps to preserve the layers and keep the snack from getting crushed. Jars are also easy for children to hold onto.

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apple slices, snap pea crisps, cookies

20140429-223129.jpgorange slices, snap pea crisps, veggie straws, animal cookies, UNREAL Candy Coated Chocolates

DSC09120Babybel cheese, brown rice crackers, dried fruit, nuts, UNREAL Candy Coated Chocolates

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Left: dried fruit, veggie straws, organic marshmallows
Right: blackberries, snap pea crisps, cheddar & caramel popcorn

A few closing tips:

  • If including fresh fruit, make it the top layer so it does not get crushed. For juicy fruit that might drip down onto rest of the layers, separate it with a layer of plastic wrap.
  • Don’t make them too far in advance or the varying textures/water content of the foods might make the other food soggy/stale.
  • Start by explaining that the food should be eaten in the order that it comes in the jar. Letting children know the expectation first may reduce the likelihood of dumping out the jar to get to the sweet treat. 😉
  • Vary what you fill the jar with to keep it exciting/intriguing.

What are your kids favorite snacks?

Do you save any types of snacks to only be eaten special occasions?

Share below! I would love to hear your ideas!

 

 

 

 

 

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