10 Healthy and Quick Snack Options for the Busy Mom!

I had my third baby two weeks ago.  Having three children three and under is a huge blessing but keeps me incredibly busy.  As I sit here typing this post, I’m inhaling “lunch” (aka smoothie, Larabar and chocolate: don’t judge) and praying that the three babies stay sleeping for another hour.  Since I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and enjoy a meal (unless my husband is home) I have had to find quick, easy and healthy snacks to munch on during the day.  Here are a few of my go to snacks:

1. Bolthouse Smoothies bolthouse(Photo source)

Having ready made smoothies on hand is literally a life saver.  It can be a quick and healthy breakfast (pour into a glass and add a bit of yogurt or just drink straight from the bottle like I do), an easy low-sugar booster, an afternoon snack or part of dinner.  The best price for the 946ml bottles is $3, unless you price match flyers across Canada (another huge blog post needed to explain that).  You can also order coupons from them by simply going to their contact page.  My favorite flavours are: Berry Boost, Blue Goodness, Multi-V Goodness, Mango Lemonade and Amazing Mango.  As I’m writing this post I discovered that they now carry breakfast smoothies: now I’ll have to hunt them down.

2. Larabars

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These.  Are. Amazing.  Such simple ingredients which provide a powerful pack of nutrition and will fill your belly!  The main ingredient is dates and then they add a bunch of other yummy goodness.  The price is definitely up there, but worth every penny especially if you buy them when you have the PC Plus Natural Foods offer.  They have many flavours to choose from, but my favorites are: coconut, cashew, peanut butter, and cherry!  You can get a multipack 18 count box of the coconut, cashew, and peanut butter from Costco for about $17.  At Superstore they have a box of 16 (one flavour per box) for $16.  You could also redeem your Shoppers Drug Mart points to get a box for free…

These are perfect for throwing into your purse when you’re on the go, munching on while you’re nursing, or as breakfast at 2pm while hiding in your bathroom to get a few minutes of alone time.

3. Popcorn

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Please, oh please, oh please buy the Angies Tri-Coloured Popping Corn from Costco.  We really should be encouraging them to keep this GMO-free item in stock and the only way to do that is to keep buying it!   Regular price is $10.99, but it has gone on sale for $7.99.  Pop some popcorn in advance for a snack the next day.  It’s quick, easy and delicious.

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If there is simply no time to be popping corn, buy this from Costco instead.  Delicious, ready-to-go and $5.99 for a huge bag.  It goes on sale for about $3.99.

Check out Annie’s website for more info on their products.

4. Bananas

(Do I really need to put a picture of bananas?)

(Ok, here’s one)

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Seriously the easiest fruit to eat.  No preparation needed, just peel and chew.  The natural sugar content in it will give you a quick pick up and the density of it fills your belly.  Bonus: organic bananas are CHEAP!  They usually range from $0.77/lb-$0.99/lb.

5. Coconut Milk

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So this is delicious in coffee, but I have found it’s a relatively filling snack option when I’m in a hurry. Pour a glass, drink, done, move on to change three poopy diapers.  Eat a banana with it if you have an extra 5 seconds to spare.

Costco is a great place to get it: 6x1L pack for $10.99 or on sale for $8.49.

6. Fruit Bars
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Another quick and easy fruit option.  Throw it in your diaper bag, have a few tucked away with your nursing gear and enjoy.

Costco sells an 18 pack for $19.89 but they go on sale for $15.89.

7. Trail Mix

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Any sort of trail mix is just awesome to keep you energy levels up.  I fill a little baggie with about a handful and can eat it in the car, shopping or, again, while nursing (I basically nurse the big man all. day. long.).

8. Almond or Peanut Butter

photo9I’m the kind of person who can eat peanut or almond butter by the spoonful.  I absolutely love it and it’s a great source of protein.  I regret not buying more than one jar of almond butter when it was on sale at Costco.  Thankfully Adams peanut butter (500g) regularly goes on sale at Save-on-Foods.

9. Greek Yogurt

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Ummm, any kind really, but I am quite partial to Liberte Lime and Liberte Mocha.  I know, I know, the flavoured ones are not as healthy as the plain, but I’ll admit I indulge in these delicious treats when they are on sale.

10. Water

It’s not really a snack, but keeping hydrated is super important as a mom especially if you’re nursing a baby.  Fill up a water bottle and carry it with you ev-er-y-where!

The best place to buy a huge tub of plain greek yogurt is Save-on-Foods.  Their large tub of Krema Greek Yogurt goes on sale for about $9.  Check out Krema and Liberte’s Facebook pages because they often have coupon giveaways!

That’s basically the list of quick snacks that keep me powering through the day right now.  What are some that you enjoy?

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Homemade Pita Chips

Homemade snacks are great because they are generally more cost efficient and you know exactly what is going into your food.  Something I haven’t made for a long time is pita chips, but they are a quick, easy and delicious treat (a great substitute for potato chips).  When I have nothing prepared for lunch, I like to rely on these chips, hummus and fresh veggies.

First off, gather your ingredients: you will need olive oil, pitas (fresh from a local bakery if possible!), spices (I’m using this organic no-salt seasoning spice from Costco) and parmesan (optional but oh so tastey):

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I eyeball all my ingredients, but usually start with a little bit of this and that, then add more to taste.  Pour a little olive oil into a bowl then add your spices.  Cut your pitas into triangular pieces then add to bowl.  Make sure all your pita pieces are well coated with oil and spice, but not so much that they are dripping.  Turn your oven on to broil.

photo(71)Lay the pita chips flat onto a cookie sheet (if they overlap a bit that’s ok).  Add salt and pepper if you’d like.  Broil for 2 minutes, flip, then broil for 1 minute or until golden brown.  Keep your eye on these while they are in the oven as they can burn VERY quickly.

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Let cool and seal in an air tight bag.  They will go stale within a couple days so eat them quickly! Enjoy!

If you have a good home made hummus recipe please share it with me.