Motherhood is full of surprises, but one thing is certain: no matter how many times a day you feed them, growing kids are always, always hungry. It doesn’t matter if they ate three rounds of breakfast or you just served a delicious dinner — those little tummies will start growling and soon, your kids will be asking for a snack. Oh, and if you’re in the middle of a video meeting, they will definitely need something to eat. It’s science.
Fortunately, there are ways to stock your fridge and freezer so your kids can help themselves in the kitchen. And that feeling you get when your kids make their own snack instead of asking you to make one approximately 237 times in a 24-hour period? It’s called bliss. Here are five quick and easy snacks your kids can prepare themselves.
Okay, we’re about to describe a yogurt parfait — but call it a sundae and your kids won’t believe their luck. Start with a great base like Greek yogurt. It’s easy for your kids to scoop into a bowl, and then all that’s left to do is add toppings. Raspberries and blueberries are a great start because they don’t require any cutting, but older kids may want to slice up some strawberries as well (kid-safe knives are a worthwhile purchase). Granola is simple and delicious, and shredded coconut is the perfect finishing touch. We love this snack idea because your kids can personalize their yogurt sundae to match their tastes — plus, it’s healthy but feels like a treat!
This classic childhood snack is just as awesome as you remember, and if your kids can reach the microwave, they can prepare a POGO by themselves in 60 seconds. POGO are made in Canada with no artificial colours, flavours or by-products. There are original beef wiener and breakfast sausage options, and these tasty corn dogs offer a great serving of protein, which helps keep kids feeling full. Let your little ones dip an original POGO in ketchup or mustard, or dunk a Breakfast POGO into maple syrup (yum!). We love that kids can make these completely independently with zero mess. They can even take a POGO out to the backyard for a great snack on the go!
Here’s a secret about instant oatmeal: you don’t really need a kettle to make it. Teach your kids to empty a packet of instant oatmeal into a bowl (big kids might want two packets) and turn the kitchen faucet to hot. They’ll still need to be careful, since some taps can get really hot, but it’s safer and easier than using a kettle. The water just needs to be hot enough to soften instant oats, and the oatmeal will be the perfect temperature for eating right away. Your kids can use a measuring cup to add the right amount of liquid — check the measurements on the packet, since each brand is a little different. Then, all they’ll have to do is stir and they’ve got delicious, hearty oatmeal in under a minute. Bonus: encourage them to add fresh berries, dried fruit or other toppings!
Bagged popcorn or tortilla chips
If your kids can open a bag and fill a bowl, they can grab themselves some pre-made popcorn or tasty tortilla chips. This snack is as fast and easy as you can get, and your kids will love munching on something crunchy and delicious while doing their homework (or playing Minecraft on the couch — building farms makes us hungry, too). Bonus points: have salsa or guacamole in the fridge to level up those tortilla chips, or teach your kids to microwave them with shredded cheese on top for super-easy nachos. Delish!
Veggie sticks and dip
In our experience, kids are more likely to eat their vegetables when it’s fun and easy (this applies to many adults, too). Prepare some carrot and celery sticks, then place them into a glass storage container filled with water. This will keep your veggies crunchy and delicious in the fridge, and makes it easy for kids to grab and go. You can also prepare sliced cucumbers, bell peppers and other family favourites in a separate container without water. Have dipping options like ranch, hummus and peanut butter (or a nut-free alternative) on hand for your kids to choose from. Spreadable cheeses are another great option for dipping.
Crackers and Cheese
This may seem like an obvious snack idea, but there are ways to make it extra easy for kids to enjoy crackers and cheese independently. Have a selection of whole grain crackers (or basic salted tops — we don’t judge!) and keep them in a spot that’s easy for kids to reach. For the cheese element, consider pre-sliced options, soft cheeses that work for spreading or dipping, string cheese or individually wrapped cheese balls (you know, the kind that come wrapped in wax). Having these simple, accessible options lets your kids enjoy a favourite snack without having to use a knife to slice a brick of cheese (and, it saves time).
Remember: the easier a snack is for kids to assemble on their own, the more likely they are to do it themselves. Independence is a learned skill, and you’ll both feel good as they take charge of their snacking needs. And if you can get your kids to load their dishes into the dishwasher once they’re done eating? Then you’ve unlocked a whole new level of parenting, and we all bow down.
Thanks to POGO for partnering with us on this fun post!