Healthy Kids Eat Real Fast Food
Updated: Sep 3, 2018
It might seem easier to grab take-out from a drive through than to prepare your own quick meals, but these easy and kid-friendly "fast food" options will prove that healthy can save you time, money, and sanity.
I was at school pick-up the other day talking to a few parents about shuffling children from one activity to the next when the conversation turned to food. I heard someone joke, “they barely have a chance to eat!” Being a dedicated eater myself, I began to panic slightly. (Let me clarify: I love food. A lot. I love it so much that I write a blog about healthy eating. I’m one of those people who completes one meal and starts to plan what and when the next meal will be.)
“No, seriously,” I interjected, “how do you fit dinner into all this? Do you eat at 9pm?” Since our children are 7, this seems a bit late for me. And by a bit late, I mean too late - the kids need to eat earlier than that because if they don’t, they get “hangry”.
The kids need to eat - if they don't, they get "hangry".
With the advent of numerous extracurricular activities, playdates and school, parents now add the role of personal assistant to their repertoire of careers. While these activities offer a lot of developmental benefits to your children, they also leave you with a shortage of time and a familiar smile from that guy at the McDonald’s drive-thru window.
I don’t know any parent who, when asked about what they would choose for their kids to eat, would select fast food with little to no nutritious value. Yet, with all they have to coordinate and squeeze into one day, this is often what parents resort to feeding their kids. And by consuming so many processed sugary and salty foods, children also learn to prefer shelf-stable snacks and treats as opposed to real food. Enter snack kits.
To ensure busy schedules don’t mean unhealthy meals, I make these snack kits!
On the days when I pick up the kids, somehow my time zaps into a warp speed. The clock suddenly reminds me that it's time to go, and I have no snacks for the kids to eat. This is where some simple prep can go a long way.
I bought these Systema containers and prepare them with half veggies, a quarter protein, and a quarter something crunchy (this picture shows some red pepper hummus and gluten-free pretzels - they’re extra crunchy! - but you can use peanut butter, cheese, or a handful of nuts for the protein, and whole grain crackers, carrots, or mini rice cakes for the crunch).
There's really nothing extraordinary about this kit - the hummus and pretzels are divided by good old-fashioned wax paper (no one can complain about soggy pretzels!) - and my kids usually finish this before we get home. I bought 10 containers (obviously, this isn't necessary, but it does make it easy to prepare 5 snacks for two kids on a Sunday night.)
Bottom line: snack kits are an easy way to have health fast-food on the go!