I like to have snacks at my house for when my niece and nephew come to visit so I’m always on the lookout for individually packaged or partially prepped items. Babybel makes individually wax wrapped cheese that is really mild, so the kids like it (and we can make wax figures from the wrapping). Many grocery/warehouse stores sell pre-cut celery and carrots, so all I need to do is open the peanut butter or put a little ranch dressing in a dish. You can pick up pre-sliced apples in individual packs that are pretty good, but sometimes the ‘individual servings’ are too much for a four and six year old. That’s why my favorite little kid snack source is the 100 calorie snack packs from companies like Ocean Spray and Nabisco– not because I’m trying to keep my niece and nephew on a diet, but because the serving size is more appropriate for kids. (Plus, with things like cookies, it means they can have cookies but I don’t have to worry about them stealing extras when I’m not looking– they’d have to get a whole new package to get extra sweets.)
The hidden bonus to pre-packaged snacks is that there’s practically no clean up. If you don’t have to core the apples yourself, all you have to toss is their napkin and the little bag the apples came in. Individual serving size packages tend to be a little more expensive than buying a whole bunch of celery or a big wedge of cheese, but it means that when my niece and nephew come over to visit, I already have snacks ready for them. No need to spend time cutting veggies or slicing off sections of cheese when I could be spending that time having fun. That extra half hour of snack prep time and 15 minutes of clean up could mean the difference between an afternoon at home and having the time to drive out to the Chabot Space and Science Center.
Soda companies have also started making 100 calorie size soda cans. I know that the soda/kids issue is a little controversial, but since Sprite and 7-Up make them too, I at least don’t have to worry about the caffeine…and the smaller cans are easier for kids to hold.