For most families, school days mean fast-paced (some of us might even say “hectic”) efforts to get everyone out the door on time. But limited time doesn’t have to mean limited nutrition! From medium-prep to low-prep to no-prep, we’ve got 15 balanced breakfast ideas for kids—quick enough for school days and nutritious enough to power…Read more
From planning activities to coordinating transportation, hosting a playdate can be a whirlwind—a fun whirlwind, but demanding nonetheless. Serving nutritious meals to your kids and their friends can be made easier, but what about when they get hungry between meals?
Having playdate snacks prepared ahead of time can help free you up when the kids come over, and with just a little creative brainstorming, planning the snack menu can be simple. Here are 12 playdate snack ideas perfect for everyone from toddlers to grade-school kids. They’re colorful, creative and easy to dig into, so happy playing—and snacking!
Playdate Snacks for Kids Ages 1–3
1. Apple Automobiles
This cute snack will set your toddlers on the fast track to playdate success. Slide two toothpicks each through several apple slices and then affix four green grapes to act as wheels. The visual will surprise and delight your little ones—and they’ll be getting plenty of vitamin C and fiber, too.
2. Yogurt Smoothies
Put the sippy cup to the test with fruit-based smoothies that little ones can tote around as they play. Blend low-fat yogurt, milk and your choice of frozen fruit. Bananas, strawberries and blueberries are a hit with the toddler set. Keep a variety of fruits that may be more difficult to prepare, like pineapple, mango, kiwi and berries, on hand in your freezer for a quick grab and go.
3. Crunchy Banana Bites
Slice a banana, roll each slice in yogurt and low-sugar granola, then lay on parchment paper in the freezer for a few hours. Serve in a little bowl for fun bites little ones can easily grab! These playdate snacks can also be prepared with a popsicle stick for toddler-friendly portable pops and on-the-go munching.
4. Cottage Cheese Fruit Bowls
Layer creamy cottage cheese with any diced fruit—peaches, pineapple and bananas pair well—for a simple snack that’s packed with protein. Not a fan of cottage cheese? Consider using Greek yogurt as another calcium-dense option.
5. Graham Cracker Sandwiches
When graham crackers are the “bread,” the options are endless! Spread with cream cheese, jam or your child’s favorite nut butter, and then layer on sliced fruit, raisins, honey or cinnamon.
6. Build-Your-Own Fruit Cup
Let your toddler and their friends explore their food independence! Give everyone a cup and have them build their own fruit salad. They can choose from a variety of options including melons, berries, grapes and other favorites. You can even add other nutritious toppers such as nuts, seeds or granola.
Playdate Snacks for Kids Ages 4–8
7. Turkey and Cheese Kabobs
With plenty of lean protein, these tasty one-bite snacks are easy to assemble in a hurry. Cut up cold cuts of turkey into small pieces and skewer them onto thin pretzel sticks, along with any combination of sliced cheeses
8. Hungry Caterpillar Sandwiches
Everyone’s favorite caterpillar becomes everyone’s favorite playdate snack with these hungry caterpillar sandwiches.
- For the head, use a cherry tomato with celery sliced thinly lengthwise to create two antennae. Add two small dabs of butter to “glue” cheese onto the head for eyes.
- For the body, cut out small rounds of whole wheat bread with a cookie cutter, and use these rounds to make mini sandwiches of ham, turkey or cheese. Alternate the sliced turkey or ham sandwiches with the sliced cheese sandwiches to create a fun body shape.
As your kids and their friends snack, they’ll love seeing the hungry caterpillar disappear!
9. Apple Dippers
Cover several apple slices halfway with your choice of nut butter and sprinkle on some cinnamon. Bite-sized with a punch of protein, this snack will also keep little hands mess-free.
10. Fruit Mini Rainbows
Eat the rainbow—really! Set out several miniature “rainbows” made with arcs of sliced strawberries, oranges, bananas, kiwis, blueberries and purple grapes. Aside from instantly drawing kids in, this colorful treat is nutrient-dense, having everything from vitamins C and B6 to potassium and folate.
11. Apple Nachos
Thinly slice a few apples, arrange on a plate and drizzle with a few tablespoons of warmed-up nut butter to act as the “cheese.” Top with blueberries, raisins and cinnamon—really anything goes! These tasty playdate snacks are a crowd-pleaser, but be sure to keep some napkins handy.
12. The Pitstop
A good option for older kids, a self-serve “snack station” lets them decide what they want, when they want it. Fill a refrigerator drawer or small ice chest with a variety of tasty bites to choose from:
- String cheese
- Yogurt packs
- Homemade energy bites
Round out the pitstop with a selection of grab-and-go fruits and veggies, from apples and clementines to sliced cucumbers, raw jicama or sweet bell peppers. If you don’t have any fresh fruit on hand, you can serve up Nurture Life’s perfectlyfree Fruit Bites instead—offering a full ½ serving of fruit in every pack! Because they’re free from the Big 8 allergens, these Fruit Bites are the perfect allergy-friendly snacks to share with friends.
Playdates are a very high-energy activity for your little ones, and by giving them filling and nutrient-dense snacks that include fruits, vegetables and proteins, you are sure to keep them full and energized for hours. If you’re serving a big crowd or don’t have time to prepare expansive playdate snacks, head to your grocery store with our Shopping Guide for Healthy Kids Snacks to find the healthiest ready-to-eat options. Playdate preparation shouldn’t be a headache—it should be fun for you and your little one!