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Running a day care is busy . Sometimes I feel like all I do is make food!!!
When I first started reducing waste I was overwhelmed by what to feed the kids for snacks .
Simple snacks all seemed to come packaged.
Now I know it’s possible to make healthy and quick snacks zero waste.
9 Zero Waste Snacks for Kids
Fruit is my go to for snacks !
I have yet to meet a kid who will turn down a bowl of fruit.
Bananas , melons , apples , and oranges are great examples of fruit that come package free .
The kids in my care LOVE berries! This is a tricky one to find plastic free. Depending on the season you might be able to find them at farmers markets .
We still buy them but I try to not to buy them too often.
If you continue to buy berries try to reuse the plastic cartons for crafts or your garden .
Frozen berries are also a great option . If you buy a big resealable bag you can use them to replace plastic baggies and freezer bags.
Veggies are another healthy snack !
We love to eat cucumbers , carrots , broccoli ,peppers , and celery for snacks .
For younger kids I steam them so they are easy to eat!
Peas are a go to in our house . As I haven’t ever been able to find them fresh I buy them frozen and reuse the bags as much as I can .
( Check our my blog post – Canned vs. Frozen if you are interested in learning why I typically pick frozen over canned )
3.Toast & Bagels
Toast is easy and most kids love it.
If you make your own bread this is completely zero waste .
You can also buy buns and bagels package free in most grocery store bakeries.
Peanut butter , almond butter , and most nut butters can be found in bulk or in glass jars .
We also love Jam & Jelly. You can buy it or make your own .
Our go to is toast with almond butter and chia seeds . I buy them both in bulk.
4. Home Made Muffins and Bars
Granola bars , cookies, muffins, and crackers are the worst culprits for waste. If you take 30 mins a week you can make your kids some snacks from scratch.
I tend to just make muffins as they are easy to make and all the kids go crazy for them. The best part is you know exactly what is in them.
I have seen tons of recipes online for homemade goldfish, granola bars, and crackers.
If you have leftovers why not feed that to your kids for snack. If you can prevent food from being wasted that is a big plus.
Stir frys, quesadillas, pancakes, pasta, chilli, or really anything you have in your fridge will work.
My kids love leftover pancakes with peanut butter and I love knowing all the food in my fridge is being eaten.
6. Snacks From the Bulk Store
If you have access to a bulk store you need to go check it out. They don’t only have baking supplies they have tons of snacks too.
My go to’s are :
Greek yogurt Raisins
& trail mix.
They even sell chocolate chip and other types of cookies!
7. Home Made Dips
Dips are great if you want to get your kids to eat their veggies. Only thing is the ones from the stores are always in plastic containers.
Hummus , pesto, guacamole , and caramel dips are all really easy to make. Best of all most of them do well in the freezer, so make a lot and save yourself some time.
Be sure to click this link to checkout 10 Super Healthy Homemade Dips For Kids.
( This is not my post. But these recipes are amazing)
Who doesn’t love pasta. We have pasta A LOT.
I like to buy quinoa noodles, rice noodles, lentil noodles, and chickpea noodles. Most bulk stores have a HUGE selection of healthy noodles in all difference shapes. The kids don’t notice the difference and I’m happy because I know they are getting tons of extra nutrients.
Add some peas and pesto sauce and you have yourself a quick and easy snack or meal.
Smoothies are a staple in our house. You can throw in tons of healthy stuff and your little people won’t even notice.
My go to recipe is :
8 oz of Oat milk
A handful of Mixed berries
1/2 a banana
75 g of dessert tofu ( Tofu does come packaged)
& sometimes I throw in spinach and kale!
I chose to buy my oat milk instead of make my own as the store bought stuff is fortified with iron and other vitamins and minerals. I also buy my berries frozen as either way they come in plastic and this way I can reuse the bag. The key is to make the best choice for you , your family, and the environment.
My kids eat their smoothies from their They love them and they are great for on the go. Bonus points they are silicone and leak proof!
And of course sometimes a snack isn’t even needed. If I notice my kids are not eating their meals then I start reconsidering how much they have for snack or if they need any snack at all.
I hope these ideas will help you and your little ones on your zero waste journey!
Keep it up mama you got this!