All about cooking

25 Kid-Friendly Snacks for an Outdoor Playdate

Meeting up with friends with friends or cousins your child’s age can add a lot of fun to a monotonous routine. If you plan to meet at a local park for several hours, the kiddos may grow hungry and need sustenance. Finding outdoor snacks for kids to keep them playing but are still healthy is easier than you might think. Here are some fun and nutritious playdate snack ideas that are simple to grab and go or prepare beforehand.

1. Prepackaged Snacks

Families are busy. Between running the kids to practice, working and completing homework, finding time to make healthy snacks may seem impossible. It’s okay to give yourself a break and grab a bagged snack as long as you choose ones with healthier ingredients. Look for ones without dyes, preservatives or other chemicals you wish to avoid. Some ideas include:

  • Individually packaged trail mix for older kids
  • Pretzels
  • Rice Crisps
  • Edamame beans
  • Pipcorn

You’ll find dozens upon dozens of ready-to-go snacks for kids at your local grocery store. The key to finding the healthiest options is to read the labels and do your research beforehand about ingredients that are unhealthy. Stick with the items with the fewest and most natural ingredients possible.

2. Fruit and Veggies

Get in some extra nutrients with fresh fruit and veggies. Many are easy to transport and require no refrigeration. Kids love the sweet taste of fruits. Choose organic options, especially for anything on the dirty dozen list. If your child is old enough and has digestive issues, grapes can help with their high insoluble fiber content. However, use caution with all foods. Grapes should always be quartered at a minimum as they can present a choking hazard eaten whole. Some easier fruits that you can grab and go include:

  • Washed strawberries
  • Apples whole or presliced
  • Bananas
  • Carrots with ranch dressing (keep in a cooler)
  • Cucumber slices

Summer childhood memories are built from biting into a farm fresh ripe tomato, slices of a tasty watermelon or munching on mini salads. Prepare things and use a cooler to keep dressing fresh. You can make mini salads for all the kids by taking along bowls and creating a salad bar where they add the things they want. You can even get in an extra protein punch by adding cheese and greek yogurt dressing.

3. Dry and Home Baked Goods

Dry goods and homemade treats are a simple snack because they won’t go bad in the heat and require no refrigeration. Parks offer a chance for physical activity and bonding, which benefits the entire community’s health. Kids develop social and large motor skills. Combine fine motor skills by giving them small items as snacks they can pinch and pick up. Some to consider for snacks include:

  • Cereal
  • Nuts (if age appropriate)
  • Seeds
  • Muffins
  • Oatmeal fruit bars

When making sweets, use natural ingredients to up the nutritional value. Use applesauce in the place of oils or natural sweeteners. If you aren’t familiar with the dietary restrictions of playmates or those who might be around the outdoor play space, avoid nut products as they present a danger to some people. 

4. Easy Drinks

Running and playing builds up thirst. There are some clear options for what to take as a drink, but you can also bring a cooler or freeze drinks ahead of time to offer additional energy. Clear winners include: 

  • Reusable and insulated water bottle
  • Juice boxes
  • Milk kept on ice
  • Electrolyte drink mixes added to a bottle of water for extra hydration
  • Smoothies filled with extra nutrients

Children should consume ample amounts of H2O but adding nutrient or energy boosters is a fun way to get in some extra nutrition without a fight. A high-powered blender turns spinach and other veggies into liquid, which can be part of a berry smoothie to hide the taste.

5. Protein

Protein is a building block for your children to grow. Getting toddlers and even older kids to sit down and eat protein is sometimes a battle. Taking along a snack high in protein can fill the gap and keep the playdate fun at the same time. Here are some protein-packed favorites:

  • Protein shakes and Bars
  • Mozzarella cheese sticks
  • Ham roll ups with lunch meat and a smear of cream cheese and green peppers inside
  • Greek yogurt in drinkable tubes or individual serving sizes
  • Boiled eggs

If your child is still lacking in the protein department, consider supplemental nutritional shakes, adding a scoop of kid-safe protein powder to your smoothies or sneaking it into baked goods or pudding. 

Protein is a building block for children. It can increase immunity and reduce the chances of various health risk factors. The human body can make 11 of the 20 needed amino acids. The rest must come from a food source, which can include beans and lentils for those going meatless. 

Offer Options

Young children can be picky eaters. They might love drinkable yogurt one day and say it’s yucky the next. Offering them a variety of foods encourages them to try new things and develop a taste for healthier options. Over the course of a week, they should get all the nutrients needed for health. Take along smoothies in thermoses or refillable, freezable pouches for a fun alternative to high sugar treats. 

Comments are closed.

Join my free email list to receive FREE cook books!