Meal Planning Series: Part 3 – Wholefood Snacks

willowcrest lane meal planning

The following post is the third in a series of meal planning posts.  You can find Part 1: The Planning here and Part 2: Freezer Cooking here.

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Today I’m sharing some of my go-to wholefood snacks that we love around here. They are quick, they are healthy, and they are kid-approved – you should know my boys would have some serious dramatic gagging and shenanigans going on if they didn’t like what I served them.

Now, you WILL occasionally find Goldfish and graham crackers in my pantry. I’m human…and I go grocery shopping hungry sometimes because: life. I try to live by an 80/20 philosophy with food because we all enjoy some convenience foods and treats sometimes, and I don’t want to make myself crazy with restrictions. The kids and I talk about “wow” foods and “whoa” foods to get them involved in making healthy choices. The idea is to be mindful of what we eat, but that in moderation, most foods are ok.

This is what pretty much any activity looks like around here: sword fights with big weapons.
This is what pretty much any activity looks like around here: sword fights with big weapons.

For a long time, whenever I stared aghast marveled at my boys’ endless appetites, I would think that they must be growing. That’s what everyone says when kids are eating that much, but then I started to notice that it wasn’t just every few months, it was all.the.time. These kids can EAT. It’s pretty impressive, really, how much they can pack away in a sitting. While I’m over here counting out eight measly almonds and weighing my apple to make sure it’s a “small” one and not a “large” one in my calorie count, the boys are asking for a second dinner right before bed.

This spurred me to get a little smarter about what I was feeding them. A few years ago I began to read everything I could get my hands on about feeding my family a wholefood diet, which is simply the premise of eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. In other words, limiting processed foods with lots of ingredients that I can’t pronounce. These types of foods spike blood sugar with their simple carbs and then when you crash, you are left feeling gross and hungry too quickly, not to mention the host of rotten things they can be filled with.

This new wholefood mindset has made an enormous impact on my family. Feeding us all a less processed diet with more thoughtful, homemade meals and snacks allows me to limit the amount of preservatives and other chemicals and eat a more vegetable and fresh fruit-based diet, not to mention it keeps my kids feeling fuller longer than two seconds!

My favorite food gurus, Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food, and Melissa King of My Wholefood Life have many resources that I devoured along with delicious recipes that have become family favorites. Lisa’s cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food, is one of my staples for meals, too!  Please check them out for much more information about eating a wholefood lifestyle.

I don’t know about you, but at snack time I sometimes panic and blank out when all the hungry eyeballs are staring at me, demanding food or else. I keep a laminated list of healthy snacks on my fridge just for this reason. You know I love ya, so I spiffed it up and I’m offering the Snack Attack: Healthy Wholefood Snacks as another free printable in this Meal Planning series. I hope it helps inspire you like it does me. You can find the Meal Planning printable and the Freezer Inventory printables here.

10 Wholefood Snacks to Feed Your Family:

Recipes are linked if I use one.

  1. Deviled eggs – I hard boil a dozen eggs every week for snacks anyway, so it’s a quick and easy two-for-one to use some of them to make these delicious deviled eggs. I use Lisa’s recipe and add green olives because we have a serious love affair for all things olive.Hardboiled eggsSmoothie Pops are a huge hit around here!
  2.  Smoothie pops – made all the more fun with these freezie pop silicone molds! I pack them in lunches, or sometimes I like to serve them as a snack with popcorn or even as a dessert. There are so many recipes to try! We love frozen cherries and peanut butter smoothies for a peanut butter and jelly taste.
  3. Coconut Cream Lara Bars – these bars, made with dates, are ah-mazing. Melissa makes a bunch of different flavors like apple and cherry pie, but the coconut is out of this world.
  4. Vegetable platter with homemade ranch dip – This dip is the best, and I’m constantly amazed how many vegetables my kids throw down their gullets when they dip it in homemade ranch.Peanut butter or Sunbutter dip pairs well with anything.
  5. Peanut Butter Dip – oh yes, it’s as good as it sounds and literally takes two minutes to whip up. We eat it with pretty much anything: fruit, pretzels, rice cakes, spoons…
  6. Popcorn – it doesn’t get any easier than this and the kids think it’s such a treat! I buy the Trader Joe’s organic popcorn and then pop it in a brown paper lunch bag. Simple, filling, wholesome snack.
  7.  No Bake Oatmeal Bars – a contender for the best snack on the list. These don’t last more than two days in our house.
  8. Banana Bread – I save all my too ripe bananas in the freezer and then whip up a double or triple batch of banana bread when the mood strikes. They get sliced and put in the freezer for snack or breakfasts. We like to put some cream cheese on a thick slice and enjoy. MmmmWant to win mom of the year in your kids' eyes? One word: PIZZA.
  9. English Muffin pizzas – whole wheat English muffins, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni – what could make a kid happier than getting off the bus and seeing these waiting for them?
  10. Homemade granola – a new favorite of ours. We eat this on everything! Top yogurt with it, pour milk on it like cereal, or tear off chunks and eat it like trail mix – it’s all good.

I’m always looking to add new snacks to the list, so don’t be shy if you have one that you love! Let me know if you make any of these, too!

Love,

Norah

Healthy Wholefood Snacks

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