I've made a key discovery regarding my kids and food: they will eat anything that is in popsicle or bar form. For some reason, popsicles and bars automatically mean "snack" to them. So you can bet that I take advantage of every opportunity to load up all sorts of healthy stuff into these foods. Like blending spinach and carrots with fruit, and freezing them into popsicles.
One great homemade snack that we like are these Larabar-like fruit and nut bars. Store-bought Larabars are healthy with no weird fake junk, but are also really easy (and less expensive) to make yourself. It's a great alternative to granola bars, which usually have added sugar. Larabars are usually made from dried dates that have a good natural sweetness.
I found a whole list of Larabar recipes on Budget 101, with great instructions. But my all-time favorite is this Girl Scout Samoa version, which is a guilt-free way to enjoy the Samoa combination of coconut, chocolate, and sweetness.
These homemade Larabars are great to have on hand for a quick, healthy snack. And they are kid-approved!
"Girl Scout Samoa" Cookie Larabar Recipe
From Budget 101
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of salt
2 tablespoons chocolate chips
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse about 30-45 seconds (or more if necessary). The mixture should stick together well (pinch it with your fingers to test!). For mess free bars, line a loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Pour the processed bar mix into the pan, fold the other half of the wrap over the mix and press firmly into bars. Place the bars in the fridge for about an hour and then cut into 6 bars/pieces. These homemade larabars can be individually wrapped and stored in the freezer for fast-on-the go snacking and they freeze well.
(If the fruit is really tough or extra chewy, it can be soaked in 1/3 cup of warm water for 10 minutes, then drained and processed according to the directions above).