As busy parents, it’s easy to always feel like we’re in a rush. Children are also growing fast and can seem hungry all the time. For both adults and children, it’s easier to make bad choices when we’re hungry, so keeping healthy, quick, and easy snacks nearby is important. Make sure you have a few simple items in your refrigerator or pantry so you’ll be prepared when the snack monster hits. Here are ten go-to snacks to help keep your family going strong!
1. Rip’s Big Bowl
Rip’s Big Bowl is a combination of oats, whole-wheat cereals, raisins, walnuts and more. We love to pour our favorite plant-based milk on it (we rotate between rice, almond, and coconut milk) and then top it off with fresh fruit. In our version below, we used fresh organic strawberries and golden kiwi fruit! Get Rip’s own recipe or buy a pre-mixed one at Whole Foods Market.
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2. Veggies and Dip
Keep some pre-sliced veggies or baby carrots stored in your fridge. Serve with low-fat hummus, plant-based ranch, or any other dip that your family loves.
3. An Apple (or Any Other Fruit!) a Day
We all know what they say about apples, but don’t forget about the simplest, purest form of energy out there: fresh fruit! Check out your local grocery store for in-season fruit and include it in your weekly shopping. To help you in grab-and-go situations, leave beautifully colored seasonal fruit like pears, peaches, nectarines, oranges, and apples out on top of the counter or in a nice bowl so you always see it. It’s easy to grab and you will always have a snack on standby when you’re in need!
4. Fruit Smoothies
Blend some frozen or fresh berries, a banana, and some plant-based milk for a quick and delicious snack or light meal.
5. Open-Faced Hummus Sandwich
Start with a piece of whole-grain bread, top with a nice layer of oil-free hummus, and finish with fresh avocado and cucumber slices. Pepitas optional!
6. Fruit and Veggie Salads
Eating salad doesn’t have to be boring! Having a nice greens base prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge is a must. Start with a bed of greens (spinach, romaine, or spring mix) and pile the fresh ingredients high. In this salad, we used a combination of green grapes, heirloom tomatoes, freshly-cut pineapple chunks, and organic apples. Use any oil-free dressing you like—we like the Forks Over Knives sesame ginger dressing.
7. No-Bake Cookies With Dates
Dates pack an excellent punch when it comes to energy. With more potassium than a banana, dates are a bite-sized roll of goodness that can give you the whole-food energy you need. There are lots of recipes out there, but our favorite is Jane Esselstyn’s “Damn Good Cookies” recipe from Plant-Strong by Rip Esselstyn. In this no-bake recipe (pictured above), Jane mixes raw almonds, walnuts, dates, vanilla extract, old-fashioned oats, and dark chocolate chips for a wonderful combination of flavor that can serve as an on-the-go snack or a sweet treat after a meal.
You can also try these raw choco bites made of oats, dates, and carrots.
8. Fast Pita Pizzas
Top pita bread with tomato sauce, basil, oregano, and your favorite toppings and pop it into a 250°F toaster oven for five minutes. We love this idea by Mary McDougall.
9. Quick Bean Salads
Keep a big batch of bean salad in your fridge for snacking or as the base for a last-minute meal. Whether you make this quick black bean salad, our corn salad, Dreena Burton’s chickpea salad, or your own combination, these hearty bean salads are satisfying and easy to whip up.
10. Leftover Cooked Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes
These are great on their own or topped with salsa or leftover chili. Prepare extra potatoes when you’re cooking, or you can quickly microwave a few if you don’t have any leftovers in the fridge.
Stocking healthy snacks while keeping products with ingredients you can’t pronounce out of your pantry is the key to success in the whole-food, plant-based diet. Do this and you will be ready to take on the world, one healthy day at a time!