Feeding kids isn't something you can just do on the fly. Okay, fine, maybe if you have that unicorn child who eats nothing but kale salads and local ahi poke with ponzu sauce, you can assume your kid will eat anything on the go.
But if you're like the rest of us, praying and hoping you can make it through the 17 chores you have to do before getting your kids home for dinner, you know to be prepared with a multitude of snacks. To get the lay of the land, I queried my mom group on Facebook, which is over 20,000 strong. That's a lot of moms with real-time snack expertise. I got a ton of responses, but here are the snacks that popped up again and again in the list. From gourmet snacks and drugstore favorites to healthy bites and sugary treats, the only thing these snacks have in common is that kids like them. And most moms do, too.
Kids love smoothies, and why not? They're basically cold, creamy nut butter vehicles that look like milkshakes. You can throw veggies in there without changing the look or flavor if you have picky eaters, and they are a great way to drink breakfast on the go. Bonus: Your babies and teenagers can enjoy the same batch.
2. Dried Seaweed
This was a surprisingly popular choice that a lot of moms swear their kids love. Dried seaweed is crunchy, salty, and comes with plenty of health benefits. You can get it at Asian grocery stores, gourmet grocery stores, or even Costco.
This peanut butter-puffed rice snack is the stuff of dreams. Many Israeli moms give it to their kids when they transition to solid foods, and the scuttlebutt is that no kid of any age can ignore it. My husband's best friend has been known to hoard it from his kids and eat it in secrecy.
No, they aren't healthy. Yes, they are the perfect snack on a weekend when you're trying to finish work, and dunking cookies in milk buys you the 10 minutes you desperately need. And, truth be told, they are so delicious.
5. Fresh Fruit
Snacks don't need to be complicated to be popular. Almost every mom queried mentioned fresh fruit as their kids' favorites. Blackberries, strawberries, apples, and bananas were at the top of the list. Some moms freeze the fruit and then thaw it a little so it's still icy; some mix it into yogurt for parfaits; and some moms (like me) just wash it, cut it up, and hope the kids don't smear it into the couch cushions as they are eating.
6. Dairy (in All Forms)
We are talking "fistfuls of butter," sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt, wheels of Babybel cheese, mounds of mozzarella, and wedges of aged cheddar. (Carbohydrates and utensils totally optional.) These days, there are many alternatives to cow's milk dairy. Personally, I think the fistful of butter idea has legs.
7. Roasted Chickpeas
Crunchy, warm, and able to be seasoned in a variety of ways, roasted chickpeas can be made with (or even by) your kids helping. They are also easy to scarf down during movie night or as an option for kids who hate mushy things like hummus.