As a Nutritionist and mom of three, I’m often asked “What do you give your kids for snacks?”
We all want fast and easy snacks for kids but I generally stay away from packaged and processed foods. This means fruits and vegetables are always on my list of go-to snacks for the family. They’re ready to eat, perfectly portioned, full of vitamins, and DELICIOUS. Especially if you can find local fruits and veggies that are packed with more nutrients and flavour than produce that is transported from far away. For example, Ontario greenhouses are less than a day away from your grocery store…that’s as close to farmer’s market fresh as you’ll get!
Right now, Ontario has beautiful and fresh greenhouse cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes. In fact, we can buy local greenhouse cucumbers all year, and our local peppers and tomatoes are available for about ten months of the year, with just a short break deep in winter.
As an easy snack after school, I chop up cucumbers, beautiful brightly coloured peppers, and leave out a pint of fresh cherry tomatoes with some hummus (Hint: Don’t wash your produce until RIGHT BEFORE you’re going to eat it. Moisture can cause faster decay!).
My kids always come home from school starving so there is never anything left on a vegetable tray. And do you want to know the best part? Well, there are two:
- It takes me about 4 seconds to put this plate together for the kids AND
- Even if they don’t eat many vegetables at dinner or your meal is looking rather beige-ish doesn’t matter because they’ve filled up on healthy goodness before dinner was even served!
We often believe in this day and age that packaged food is faster, easier, and cheaper than fresh. NOT TRUE. Cutting up an entire cucumber takes zero effort and time, and fresh almost always costs less per serving. (Psst! Don’t touch the cucumber peel! That’s where most of the nutrients are!)
Plus there are some cute mini peppers that are extra sweet and you could even leave them whole! Yes, please.
For the easiest, most nutritious snack for your kids…the answer is simple.
Now the question is…how many cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes do you need this week?
Answer: More than last week.
ASK THE EXPERT: Holistic Nutritional Consultant, Seanna Thomas
Seanna Thomas is a Holistic Nutritional Consultant and Mom of three. She works as a Nutritional Consultant, freelance writer, speaker, and media personality. She is a regular contributor to multiple online and print publications. Although Seanna is educated in all aspects of nutrition, she focuses on realistic clean eating with a spotlight on healthy family habits. She is known online as The Nutritionnaire.