Here’s a quick list of some cheap, quick and easy snacks for kids! It’s easy to choose something quick and healthy from this list that fits your kids’ needs!
Cheap, Quick And Easy Snacks For Kids
I am faced with getting two boys to soccer and baseball practices in the evenings. I am hoping to pack drinks and a hearty snack to get them through practice. I leave work at five and practice is often at 5:30. What can I feed the kids that fits the following criteria?
- Can be eaten in the car on the way to practice
- Can be made in the morning and either kept in the car or at my desk
- Will be hearty enough to get them through practice and home again for dinner
Jill: You can adapt most snack foods to take in the car. You can even bring things that need to be refrigerated. Just use a small cooler or lunch box. Even a brown paper sack keeps things nicely insulated. You can buy small ice packs to pack with the food. (You should be able to find them by the coolers and thermoses at your store.) Another good idea is to freeze water, lemonade or some other drink in a plastic bottle. When you pack it in with food, it works as an ice pack and as something cold to drink for the kids. If it is going to be an extra long day, I sometimes use both the ice pack and the frozen drink.
If you can, pack the boys their own individual snack boxes using either small shoe boxes or lunch boxes. They can then hold these on their laps to catch the crumbs and when they’re done, the boxes are a great way to “pack out the trash” so you will not have quite as big a mess in the car!
Keep things as easy as possible. For example: if you are taking oranges, have them peeled and broken into segments for them. This will make it easier for them and reduce the mess in the car.
Keep a running list of the snacks you take each day for a couple of weeks. At the end of that time you will have a list of about 20 to 30 snack items to refer to when you can’t think of what to take.
Without knowing your food preferences, it is hard to tell you specifically what to take but here are some general ideas. Some may be a little messy in the car depending on the age of the children and some may need to be kept cooled (use my ideas above for keeping these cool). To expand the variety, give them different variations of my suggestions. For example, with fruit, give them an apple one day, an orange the next and so on.
Try starting with these cheap, quick and easy snacks for kids:
- Sandwiches (to prevent them from becoming soggy take packets of ketchup,mustard etc. to be put on right before they eat them) peanut butter, cheese, turkey, roast beef, ham, chicken
- Crackers with cheese
- Popcorn or Popcorn balls
- Sandwich bags filled with cereal
- Banana bread
- Dried fruit
- Yogurt with fruit
- Hard boiled eggs
If your kids don’t mind leftovers, bring that leftover piece of chicken or small container of leftover fruit salad for them too.
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We are out in the country, so I like to keep a box of graham crackers, pretzels, or sometimes poptarts for something sweet, and a case of water and juice boxes in my truck. Then everyone has something to tide them over until we get home, in case we’re out longer than I planned for. This has saved a tremendous amount of $ for us! I pack lunches and snacks if I know we’ll be gone around meal time.
I love all the great ideas and have one comment. I have 7 kids, 15 grandkids, and ran a daycare out of my home so I do have kid experience. Your “if your kids don’t mind leftovers” bothered me. At grandma’s house you eat what you are given and don’t complain. At home several of my grandkids object to eating leftovers but they don’t do it at my home. I’m not a grouch and I don’t get after them just have a different approach. I put out meals and snacks and if your hungry, eat. I don’t offer them anything else sometimes there are choices sometimes not. I also don’t apologize saying sorry I only have leftovers. Leftovers are a way to not waste food and can be re-purposed in many ways including freezing and presenting at another time or as suggested above turning leftover chicken into chicken salad.
Great post! Reminds me a lot of how we pack for road trips or when we go camping :)
Grizzly Bear Mom
When my WWI surviving grandmother lived, we ate what was served or went hungry because it was a sin to waste food. Besides that, it is disrespectful and disrespectful to not eat what the cook had slaved over.
After she died my parents allowed us to substitute a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I feel for you in this predicament. I am there much of the time…working full time and running kids. My kids’ favorite to go snack is homemade summer sausage (there are tons of recipes on the internet, but I go with a very simple one), cheese, and crackers. My boys are 16 and 12 and this is substantial enough to carry them from afterschool to dinner with practice after school. Other snack that they like are just chunks of cheese with a sliced up apple, a small tortilla spread with a mixture of cream cheese mixed with a little garlic powder and a piece of turkey rolled up, homemade trail mix or “gorp” as some call it, pimento cheese sandwiches or crackers to spread it on, and hummus and chips or carrots or whatever you like to dip your hummus with. Most everything that I have listed has to be refrigerated, but I’ve stocked each person in my family with a small hard cooler that they can grab & go. I purchased them at the Dollar General for about $7 each plus a couple of them came with their own ice packs. Each person in the family is responsible for returning it to the kitchen, cleaned-out, and put their own ice pack up.
It’s a great idea and a great way to save money. Even though my oldest son, who is now doing some of the driving, makes sure his cooler is packed before he walks out the door because he doesn’t want to spend his hard earned money on junk at the gas station.
This does get easier to make sure the cooler is packed after about a week on “scheduling in time”. Good luck to you!
Here is one of my favorite homemade summer sausages ever.
2 Tbsp. Morton Tender Quick
14 tsp. onion powder (to taste)
1/8 tsp garlic powder (to taste)
coarsely ground pepper
1 tsp.mustard seed
1 1/2 tsp. Liquid smoke
1 cup water
Mix well.Make into rolls and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Bake 300 degrees for 45 mins. to 1 hour. Be sure to remove plastic wrap before baking.
You could bake at 150 degrees for 7 hours too.
How funny! This is exactly my recipe that I use. It must be “Great minds think alike”!