Top 13 Cheap & Healthy Snack Ideas for You and Your Kids

Let’s talk snacks… If you are a mom, you know how daunting it can feel to include snacks that are nutritious all the time. You make lunches, and they need snacks. When they come home from school, they want to snack before dinner. Finally, there’s the night time snack after dinner. I don’t know about your kids, but mine love to snack! So, where should you find so many healthy snack ideas?

I have found that making my own snacks has been both healthier (I know exactly what goes in them) and cheaper (I purchase the ingredients in bulk). Therefore, many of my favorite snacks are homemade. I’d like to share some healthy snack ideas that not only are a hit with my four boys but that I enjoy as well.

a healthy snack with bananas and peanut butter

No Bake Healthy Snack Ideas

No bake. Need I say more?

First, my favorite no-bake snack that once is in my fridge disappears the same day. I literally don’t bother putting them in Tupperware or baggies because there is no point. The only warning is that they are SUPER addicting.

1. No Bake Energy Bites

The recipe calls for old-fashioned oats, toasted coconut flakes (optional- I’ve made these without coconut flakes, and they are still tasty), peanut butter, ground flax seed, semisweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips), honey or agave nectar, chia seeds (also optional), and vanilla extract. Basically, all you have to do is measure out the ingredients and mix in a bowl, chill for a half hour and roll into balls. I leave these in the fridge, and they are gone the same day.

2. No Bake Cookies

Yes, this requires a stovetop, but it takes only 15 minutes to prepare. If you love chocolate, peanut butter, and oats, this is a snack you will enjoy. What is also great about these are the ingredients are similar to the energy bites, so some of these are ingredients you want to keep stocked up on. You will need the followings: butter, unsweetened cocoa, peanut butter, vanilla, quick oats, milk, sugar. Some optional ingredients to add are shredded coconut, peanuts, chopped almonds or walnuts.

Healthy Snack Ideas to Keep on Hand

It’s not always convenient to make all of your own snacks, so when you are short on time or need something easy to throw in your bag on the go, here are some choices.

1. Kettle Brand Organic Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper Potato Chips

a bag of Kettle Krinkle Cut potato chips

These are light, crunchy, and delicious. They do not contain GMO’s and are just as satisfying as other potato chips, without the guilt.

2. Clif Bars

a large box of Clif bars

These are a family favorite in my house. I always keep a few on hand on the go. There are so many flavor varieties that you are bound to find one that you love. Our favorites are the Crunchy Peanut Butter, White Macadamia Nut, and Sierra Trail Mix.

3. Annie’s Fruit Snacks

the label of a bag of Annie's fruit snacks

I love Annie’s products! They are guaranteed GMO-free and made with organic ingredients. Although they may be a little more expensive than their competitors, I don’t feel guilty about giving them to my kids. They are a little softer to chew than the regular fruit snacks but very tasty!

Healthy Snack Ideas for the Sweet Tooth

Everyone needs a little sweetness in their life. But you don’t always need to have the processed sugar and ingredients to enjoy chocolate.

1. Chocolate Covered Raisins

These are an excellent choice for many reasons. They are very inexpensive, come in small boxes that are convenient for on the go. They are very sweet and nutritious.

2. Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs

Yes, they do have fat, but the good kind, without the carbs or other GMOs. Here’s what you will need: pasture butter, virgin & unrefined coconut oil, unsweetened peanut butter, cocoa powder, Stevia or sweetener of choice.

Warm Weather Healthy Snack Ideas

With summer on the rise, ice-cream snacks and pops are popular. Here are two alternatives to cut down on the processed sugar and substitute with nature’s sugar.

1. Banana-Based Ice Cream

Yes, ice cream! It really can’t get any healthier than using fruit to create the favorite summer treat. The best part is, you can eat just banana flavor, but there are clever ways of creating different flavors. All you need are bananas, a freezer, and food processor. Pre-freeze the bananas, slice them, throw them in the food processor, and you’re done!

If you like a firmer ice cream, throw it back into the freezer for a bit longer. For ways to spice up the banana ice cream, there are other ingredients to add to its flavor to create strawberry-banana, mint chocolate-chip, and even green tea.

2. Smoothies!

Another “cool” idea for summer that you can blend up quickly for a refreshing treat are smoothies. There are so many options for how to make them, depending on your favorite fruits. I prefer using frozen fruit. This way you don’t need ice, and you don’t have the worry of your fruit going bad before you use it.

Sometimes fruit can be pricey, but it’s not nearly as expensive as buying them at a restaurant or ice cream shop! I like to wait for a sale. My kids beg for smoothies on a very hot day. So, I stock up on frozen fruit to cut out the drive through for expensive, sugar filled drinks by making these at home!

Healthy Snack Ideas Made with Veggies

Veggies are the biggest struggle to get my kids to eat. So, if you can mask them in a delicious snack, why not? The best veggies to eat are the green ones, so here are two ways to sneak them into a fun way to eat.

1. Green Monster Smoothie

This delicious smoothie is made with banana, peanut butter, spinach, yogurt, milk, and ice. The beauty of it is that the banana and peanut butter mask the spinach taste, and the kids think the color green is fun.

2. Green Power Mojito Smoothie

For more of a tart taste, this smoothie packs nutrition and taste. If you can get your kids to try it, you’ve won the veggie battle! This is made with: spinach, pineapple, orange, banana, and mint leaves.

Healthy Snack Ideas Made with Fruit

Fruit, although delicious, can get boring to eat. Here are two ways to enhance what nature has already made mouthwatering.

1. Frozen Grapes and Kiwi

There’s something about the crunch of food that turns ordinary into special. Simply taking fruit and freezing it creates eating fruit special. If you or your kids aren’t big on eating fruit, give it a try!

2. Yogurt-Coated Strawberries

This is sweet and delicious and simple to make. All you need to do is dip strawberries in yogurt and freeze! It doesn’t get easier than that.

Let’s Recap

Sometimes it just takes getting a few simple, healthy snack ideas to get thinking about more creative ways to snack a little healthier. If you are like me, you like to keep your favorite recipes on hand for less thinking, a quick reference for grocery shopping, and for making the actual snack. Most of the links I have included will lead you to a printer-friendly version of the recipe for a paper version to keep in one spot. I hope this has been beneficial. Happy snacking!

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Top 7 Advantages of the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan & Steps to Succeed at It

The 21 Day Fix meal plan is one of the most vital parts of the popular BeachBody fitness program. The meal plans implement nutritious foods and portion control. Many have followed the 21-day fix and shared impressive goals. Just with any fitness or healthy eating regime, it is important to follow the restrictions.

a salad and meat sandwich

We have put together some of the important steps to creating a successful 21 Day Fix meal plan. With so many healthy advantages, the 21 Day Fix meal plan is a great place to start your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Whether you want to reach a weight loss goal or simply learn to eat healthier, this is a great opportunity to implement into your daily life.

How to Succeed at the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan

It is very important to eat clean and exercise portion control while on the 21 Day Fix. To make sure you will succeed from the very beginning, you should create an easy-to-follow meal plan. By prepping your meals ahead of time, you will have no excuse not to follow the program when hunger strikes.

Many BeachBody coaches recommend creating a food planning journal. This will help you log the foods that you eat and calculate calories and nutrition facts. You will want to stay in your recommended calorie range each day, and it can be hard to keep track without logging your consumed calories.

The meal plan calls for a strict schedule of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and snack. By eating smaller portions at meals and snacking on healthy tidbits throughout the day, your body will get the right amount to fuel yourself through the day.

Make sure you are eating clean and avoiding ingredients such as sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. There are several resources that offer clean eating recipes and snack ideas. No need to sacrifice flavor and variety, the possibilities are endless.

Top 7 Advantages of the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan

#1. Cut Out Processed Foods

a lot of processed foods on a table

While on Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix meal plan, you can eat a wide variety of foods. However, process foods are on the no-no list. This is a great opportunity to learn to enjoy clean eating. By eliminating process foods out of your diet, you will experience several health benefits.

Followers of the program have reported weight loss, higher energy levels, clearer skin, sharper memory skills and more. Our bodies were meant to consume natural, clean foods. This meal plan will help you realize what type of fuel your body really needs.

#2. Use Up Leftovers

The great thing about meal planning is being able to incorporate past day’s meal ingredients. For example, use the leftover lettuce and veggies from yesterday’s salad to make a quick and easy midday snack for the next day.

Several Beachbody coaches recommend using leftover protein. Cook up an extra serving at chicken for dinner, and you will have a pre-made lunch the next day! Not only will this free up valuable fridge space, but it will also help reduce your food costs.

#3. Discover New Foods

two casseroles of food

The 21 Day Fix offers you the opportunity to try new foods or learn to love new flavors. Perhaps you are not the biggest fan of vegetables or lean protein? There are several clean eating recipes that utilize these ingredients. Their preparation or seasonings options could create a flavor that you absolutely love.

#4. No Fuss Meals

How many times have you or your family spent way too much time deciding what to eat for dinner? Or how many times have you come home from work way too tired to eat? By meal planning and preparing ahead of time, meals become completely fuss free. Most of the plan’s recipes call for no or minimal preparation. Basically, you can grab your prepared container and enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal.

#5. Lose Weight

two healthy meals

Whether you want to achieve a goal weight or simply tone up trouble areas, diet is the best way to start. By implementing healthy eating choices and following the 21 Day Fix meal plan, your metabolism will begin to speed up, and your body will begin to repair the damage of unhealthy eating.

Also, a healthy diet will prepare your body for a fitness regime. While on the 21-day fix, you will realize you have more energy to get through a great workout session!

#6. More Energy

Healthy eating can be the answer to revitalizing those energy levels. If you suffer from feeling sluggish or tired, even after sleeping, a diet change could be just what your body needs. A healthy diet and fitness regime is recommended by many health experts. Give your body the fuel it is meant to have by cutting out processed foods and following this program.

#7. Easy to Follow

There is a reason that so many people choose to follow this Beachbody program. With your signup, a Beachbody coach will be assigned to you. They can offer you helpful advice and tips to reach your goals. Beachbody has made the 21 Day Fix as easy as possible to follow.

With shopping lists, recipe ideas and meal plans, you will be set up for success. The program even comes with a set of color-coded containers to help you control portions and make sure you are getting enough of each healthy food group!

Summing It Up

Today could be the first day to a new you! By taking advantage of these tips, you can reach your health and fitness goals. Many people have seen great success with the 21 Day Fix. Now is the time for you to join that statistic. Have you ever tried to the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

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Top 7 Meals Under $10 to Prepare for Your Kids

You could cut costs by 50% or more when you learn how to prepare inexpensive meals from home. It’s all about finding the right recipes and developing the right habits for saving money on grocery shopping and cooking. Time is also a factor in how expensive a meal is, so you must also consider how long it takes to cook a meal.

some spring rolls on a white plate

With so many recipes online, it can feel overwhelming to find the best recipes that are not only inexpensive and easy to make but are approved of by your kids. The extra money you save by following the tips listed below and adapting to cooking meals under $10 can deposit in a family travel fund, your retirement account, or your child’s education fund.

How to Prepare Meals Under $10

If you’re in charge of the budget or cooking for your family, then you’re probably trying to find ways to cut costs to save money. How much you spend on food is one of the areas you can drastically cut costs. Cooking food at home is cheaper than eating out.

Using an example from Cheapism.com, a classic roasted chicken dinner with vegetables costs $16 tip included at a restaurant. Without the tip, it would be about $13, but tipping is customary in America. When you cook a classic roasted chicken dinner at home, the cost is $6.41. That’s more than half the price that you would pay at a restaurant.

You can save even more money on meals by collecting a list of the best inexpensive recipes. There are many delicious meals you can cook for less than 10 dollars. And they are often quick and easy to prepare as well.

There are some good habits you should develop to assist in preparing meals under $10. One of the habits you should develop is planning meals ahead of time. When you go to the store knowing exactly what you need, you won’t overspend. Going to the store without a list results in buying more than necessary. Another good money saving habit is to cook based on what’s in season.

Produce is cheaper when it’s in season. A trick to make cuts of lower quality meat taste better when you buy them is to use them in crock pot recipes. The slow cooker will make the meat turn out more tender and flavorful.

Top 7 Meals Under $10 to Prepare for Your Family

1. Cambell’s Orange Picante Chicken

One of the most delicious meals under $10 that you can make is Cambell’s Orange Picante Chicken. The ingredients you’ll need are boneless chicken breast, Pace Picante sauce, orange marmalade, garlic cloves, and rice. Of course, you’ll also need vegetable oil for cooking the chicken, but you probably always have cooking oil on hand.

2. Huevos Mexicanos

A good, healthy breakfast, Huevos Mexicanos is eggs with cilantro and Monterey Jack cheese. You could also use Huevos Mexicanos as a filling for pita pockets or corn tortillas. Some toppings you may want to try on this meal are hot sauce, black pepper, avocado, and salsa.

3. Chicken Alfredo

a pasta and chicken alfredo dish

Chicken Alfredo is a pasta dish that many people enjoy. You can make it under $10 with chicken breast, linguine, mushrooms, frozen mixed vegetables, milk, and a jar of Alfredo-style pasta sauce. Angel hair pasta can substitute linguine to cook the meal faster. The jar of Alfredo sauce also saves you time and money on preparing the sauce. A small variation you can try for extra flavor is cooking the chicken with lemon paper and seasoning salt.

4. Meatloaf

You can make this classic American dinner for less than $10. Pair it with mashed potatoes and green peas for a full, delicious, and inexpensive dinner. Another vegetable that goes well with meatloaf is cooked carrots. All you need for cooking the meatloaf is lean ground beef, onion, eggs, tomato sauce, and oats.

Most meatloaf recipes use breadcrumbs, but oats can be used as a substitute. You may also add green pepper to this recipe if you like green peppers in your meatloaf.

5. BBQ Pork Sandwich

two medium-sized burgers

One of the easiest meals under $10 that you can make is BBQ pork sandwiches. You can prepare BBQ pork sandwiches with pork loin, hamburger buns, and BBQ sauce. Experiment with different BBQ sauces to find your favorite combination. To cook the pork, cut it in half and place it in the crock pot with BBQ sauce. Cook it on low for approximately six hours in the crock pot.

6. Nutty Tofu

Nutty Tofu is a protein-rich meal that’s cheap and easy to cook. The ingredients needed for this recipe are firm tofu, linguine, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, broccoli, and peanuts. If you like Thai cuisine, then you’ll probably love Nutty Tofu. It has that characteristic peanut taste.

7. Maple-Chili Glazed Pork Medallions

A cheap Southwestern-style dinner you can cook is maple-chili glazed pork medallions with southwestern calico corn on the side. It is easy and quick to prepare, only taking 20 minutes. You’ll need lean tenderloin pork, vinegar, apple cider, maple syrup, chili powder, salt, ground chipotle chili, and canola oil to cook Maple-Chili Glazed Pork Medallions.

Bottom Line

Cooking meals isn’t as expensive, difficult, or time-consuming as some think it is. Keep a recipe book of all the inexpensive meals your family gives good ratings on and always go to the grocery store with a list of what you need. Don’t buy things that aren’t on the grocery list.

Combining tips on preparing cheap meals with the actual recipes will deliver the best results in saving money on cooking for your family. The seven budget-friendly meals under $10 listed above are recipes that kids tend to enjoy. They are a good starting point for you in preparing quick, easy, and inexpensive meals for your family.

Which of these recipes are you excited to try? Do you know of any other good meals to prepare for kids that are under ten bucks? Let us know in the comments below.

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Quick and Healthy Snacks

images

Image Source: http://nutrition4family.com/blog/how-do-you-get-your-child-to-eat-healthy

As a stay at home mom with children, you know how important it is to make sure that your kids are getting healthy food to put into their systems. In today’s society, it is so easy to turn to unhealthy foods and get into bad eating habits. It’s your job as a parent to make sure that your child is eating healthy, because for them they may always want to turn to the chocolatey, sugary snacks which may be okay every once in awhile but not always.

You want to make sure that these snacks are high in nutrients also. Here are some simple recipes that you can follow to get your child on the track to snacking smart and healthy. You can easily have these ready for when they get home from school or when it’s most convenient for you.

 

ban

Image Source: http://www.seventeen.com

1.) Peanut-Butter Banana Smoothie

Make a deliciously healthy banana smoothie! These are simple and quick and your child may be sure to love it! All you need is one banana, 1/4 a cup of natural peanut-butter, 1/2 a cup of ice, and a cup of low-fat or soy milk. You can add however much you desire for thickness. For more flavoring you can add yogurt or even honey, but if not then you’re set!

AppleChips

Image Source: http://www.fifteenspatulas.com/cinnamon-sugar-baked-apple-chips/

2.) Apple Crisps

Apple crisps are so simple and tasty, perfect for an after school snack! First off, you need to preheat your oven to 225 degrees fahrenheit. Then you’re going to mix 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon and 1 tsp of sugar. Having a mandolin slicer is key into making these. If you don’t have one of these you can try to hand slice them but that may be tricky. So you’re going to slice apples as thin as you can with your slicer. You can use one apple, two apples, however many you would prefer. You don’t want the outside skin of the apple, just the inside. Then you’ll lay out all the slices on a cookie sheet. Next you sprinkle just a little bit of cinnamon sugar on the slices. It’s all up to you how much you use, but less is more. After this you put them in the oven and the whole goal is for them to dry out. You’ll leave them in the oven for an hour and then pull them out after the hour is up and flip them over. Then you will proceed to cook them for another hour and then let them cool before serving.

3.) Baked Kale Chips

kale hips

Image Source: http://onecentatatime.com/101-ideas-to-reuse-recycle-goods-stuffs/

Baked Kale chips? It might be hard to introduce your child into such vegetable, but this is such a healthy choice. All you need is kale, olive oil, and salt. You’ll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and in the mean time, cut pieces of kale and wash them in a salad drainer. You’ll want the pieces to then dry off as much as possible before adding olive oil. You don’t want to overdue it with the oil though. Put the pieces of kale on a cookie baking sheet. After adding your oil you can sprinkle salt over the kale and then pop it in the oven. Leave it in the oven for a goo 10-15 minutes until the edges are brown and then serve.

4.) Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

strawberry oatmeal

Image Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com

Strawberry Oatmeal bars are a healthy and nutritious after school snack. For this recipe you will definitely need 1 3/4 stick of butter that you can easily cut up, 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups of oats, 1 cup of packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 tablespoon of salt, and then one 12 oz jar of strawberry preserves. You’re going to want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You’ll then mix all of your ingredients together, except for the strawberry preserves. Next, you’re going to spread HALF of the oats mixture that you now have across your baking pan, and then spread the strawberry preserves across that. Now that you’ve done this, you will still have the other half of the oat mixture, so you will need to lightly pat this down on top of the preserves. You will bake this then for about 30 minutes, until the bars are lightly brown. After this, you’ll let them cool off and then cut them into squares as large or small as you want. Enjoy!

5.) Peanut Raisin Granola

granola

Image Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com

Along the lines of granola, you will have a various amount of ingredients. You will first preheat your oven to 325 degrees. You will need 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats, cooking spray, 1 cup of dry-roasted peanuts, 1 cup of raisins, 1 cup of sunflower seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 1 14 oz. can of condensed milk, and 1 stick of unsalted butter that will then need to be melted. You’re going to mix all of these ingredients together and then use cooking spray to coat foil that you’ll put down on your pan. Bake until the bars a golden brown color, so it should take about 45 minutes until they’re done. Once they’re cooled, you’re going to peel them off of the tin foil that you had down and then cut the granola into little bars!


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