8 Mom Hacks For Healthy Snacks
Here are my top 8 mom hacks for healthy snacks!
1. Energy Balls
Energy balls are a great snack option because they are easy to make and can be customized to suit your athlete’s taste. You can make them using nuts, seeds, oats, and dried fruits, rolled into small balls that your athlete can easily pop into their mouth during breaks. These balls are high in protein and healthy fats, making them an excellent source of energy. They can also be stored in the fridge for up to a week, perfect for busy moms. They even last on the beach when I’m at beach volleyball tournaments, but you definitely need to pack them in ice!
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup nut butter (almond, peanut, etc.)
- ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ½ cup flax seeds
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Pinch of salt
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix them well until they are evenly distributed. Once the mixture is well combined, use your hands to roll it into small balls, about the size of a golf ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate the energy balls for at least 30 minutes to allow them to set. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
2. Smoothie Packs
Smoothies are an easy way to get your athlete’s daily dose of fruits and vegetables. However, it can be time-consuming to prepare and blend smoothies regularly. A great hack for this is preparing smoothie packs for the week, which can be kept in the freezer for convenience. Just add a variety of fruits and veggies in resealable bags, and when it’s time to make a smoothie, blend the contents with either almond milk, orange juice, or apple juice and you’re done! I like to do this in the morning before a long day of school and practice. At least I know I started their day with a good base! Here are two of my kid’s favorites:
Banana Berry Blast
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 cup mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- 1 scoop protein powder (vanilla or berry flavored)
- 1 cup almond milk
- Handful of spinach
This smoothie is loaded with antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats to help boost your energy levels and aid in muscle recovery after a workout.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein
- 1 frozen banana, sliced
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
- 1 cup of Oatmeal (optional)
The Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein smoothie offers an optimal balance of protein, essential fats, and carbohydrates. Protein is crucial for muscle recovery and growth, making this smoothie an excellent post-workout option for athletes. The natural sugars from the banana provide a quick energy boost, while the fats from the peanut butter ensure sustained energy release.
3. Trail Mix
Trail mix is a classic snack option for athletes that is quick, easy, and customizable. You can mix nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and even some chocolate chips if your athlete has a sweet tooth. Plus, chocolate can give them a needed energy boost. Trail mix is high in protein and fiber, making it a filling and nutritious snack that can sustain energy throughout the day.
- 1 cup of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews)
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, apricots)
- 1/4 cup of seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax)
- 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chunks
- A sprinkle of sea salt
- Optional: 1/4 cup of protein-packed additions (roasted chickpeas, soy nuts)
4. Veggie Chips
Chips are an all-time favorite snack for kids. However, the store-bought option can be packed with unhealthy fats, salt, and preservatives. A healthy alternative would be to make your own veggie chips using sweet potatoes, kale, zucchini, or carrots. When they get home from practice and dinner isn’t quite ready, I love to serve these up to carry them over until dinner. Slice the veggies, toss with some olive oil and seasoning, and bake in the oven until crispy. You can also make a large batch and store them in an airtight container for up to a week, and they are good to take on long road trips.
5. ALWAYS Crisp Apples
When going on day-long tournaments, I like to have a fruit option that will stay fresh all day. My go-to is apples. Either first thing that morning or the night before, I slice up 3-4 apples, nice and thin. I put them in a mixing bowl with ice water and sprinkle about ⅓ cup of table salt on top of them. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes, rinse well, dry and put into baggies. They will stay crisp and never brown. They are my kids and their teammate’s favorites. Add small containers of peanut butter or almond butter if you really want to add some energy punch.
6. Quick And Easy Store-Bought Snacks
So let’s say you didn’t have time to make all these homemade treats, and you need to grab something quickly at the store. Cheez-Itz, Goldfish, and Cutie Oranges. Done. Easy, quick carb-rich, and energy-packed snacks that take zero time to prepare.
7. Chocolate Milk In between Games or After Workouts
It has been common knowledge among youth sports parents that kids should drink chocolate milk for recovery after games or in between games at tournaments, and science backs it up. A study published in the National Library of Medicine showed that “Low-fat chocolate milk consists of a 4:1 carbohydrate: protein ratio (similar to many commercial recovery beverages) and provides fluids and sodium to aid in post-workout recovery
8. Keeping It Cool
Freeze a few bottles of water overnight. Throw them in your cooler the next morning and they will not only keep your snacks cold, but your athlete can drink them throughout the day.