35 Healthy Snack Ideas (plus links to a bunch more!)

This is actually an idea I started developing back in February…and am just getting around to publishing in May.  It’s sort of a work-in-progress, as I continue to wade through what it means to be a “Whole Foods Family”.  I want to make sure that my kids have access to healthy food, which admittedly is easier said then done.  Eating healthy takes planning-so it takes a little planning ahead to make sure there are healthy food options on hand at all times.  This seems to be hardest at snack times, as sometimes it seems like those little tummies are ALWAYS hungry!

Switching to a whole foods diet has been a bit of work (and it sometimes can make going to the grocery store a bit depressing), so in the spirit of sharing, I thought I would provide a list of healthy snack ideas.  Of course, there are plenty of other healthy snack ideas and recipes out there-these are just some family favorites (including a few that we would like to try but haven’t had the chance to yet).

  1. Fresh fruit of any variety (When feasible, I buy organic, especially know that the World Health Organization released a study in March stating that glyphosate, the main ingredient in herbicide Round Up, is probably a carcinogen.)  Try eating fruit with this Creamy Peanut Butter  -(try subbing vanilla yogurt for plain and adding a bit more honey) -or- this yummy yogurt dip (just sub honey for the sugar)!
  2. Fresh veggies, by themselves or with “ranch” dip (When feasible, I buy organic for these, too…for the same reason quoted in #1).
  3. Dried organic raisins (or other dried, unsweetened fruit-like cranberries, another kid favorite)  I recommend organic raisins because raisins are on the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Dirty Dozen List.
  4. Organic Apple Sauce (again, the Dirty Dozen)
  5. Granola Cereal (or try this other recipe for granola)-we like it w/ milk or w/yogurt-or-homemade granola bars
  6. Yogurt sweetened with fresh fruit and 100% maple syrup
  7. Coconut steel-cut oats or regular steel-cut oats w/ 100% pure maple syrup
  8. Baked oatmeal squares (regular or blueberry variety)
  9. Smoothie pops or smoothies (these are fun to experiment with and make your own, but I posted a few links for ideas)
  10. Homemade fudge pops
  11. Homemade popsicles -or- these Whole Fruit Popsicles
  12. Homemade gogurt
  13. String or block cheese
  14. Cottage cheese
  15. Homemade cheddar cheese crackers
  16. Homemade graham crackers
  17. Banana oat Greek yogurt muffins
  18. Chocolate muffins (sub sugar for honey)
  19. Chia raisin carrot bran muffins
  20. Banana chia pudding
  21. 3 ingredient chocolate-banana cups or chocolate-peanut butter cups (make your own chocolate-yum!)
  22. Overnight oats-MANY recipes, this one for Cherry Flax Overnight Oats is our absolute favorite
  23. Whole wheat bread w/ butter and honey (We like a yogurt bread recipe, super  yummy!)
  24. Whole wheat banana bread
  25. Homemade tortillas with melted cheese
  26. Raw, unseasoned nuts
  27. Energy bites (also wanting to try these Almond Joy Energy Bites, but haven’t gotten around to making them yet!)
  28. Homemade larabars (I like the coconut cream larabar version)
  29. Homemade Clif bars
  30. Hard-boiled eggs
  31. Ants-on-a-log
  32. Popcorn -or- homemade popcorn balls
  33. Medjool dates with or without homemade almond butter
  34. Skillet bananas
  35. DIY fruit leather

NOTE: Some of these recipes call for sugar, which I generally just sub out for honey (equal parts).  I also have been known to use turbinado sugar on occasion (the less-processed version of the super refined white sugar you’ll find in the super market).

For more healthy snack ideas, check out:

85 Snack Ideas for Kids (And Adults) on 100DaysofRealFood.

A couple of other great sites with great healthy snack ideas for kids:

weelicious.com & superhealthykids.com

For those who are vegan or have wheat allergies, definitely check out MyWholeFoodLife.com!  (I am neither vegan nor have allergies, and I still enjoy these awesome, tasty recipes!)

Also, follow my Pinterest Board Healthy Clean Eating Snacks!!

Who says eating healthy has to taste bad?!?

Katie

eat clean

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2 Easy Updos That Take 5 Minutes (or less)- Day 9

It’s always nice to have a couple of easy go-to hairstyles in your repertoire for busy mornings.  These next two hairstyles are just that.  The first style, the Easy Updo, is just your basic pulled up hairstyle.  I believe it took me all of 2 minutes.  It can be adjusted to sit higher or lower on the head, depending on where you tie the initial band of hair.

easy updo

I was not lying…just your basic updo.  No muss, no fuss.  The problem was, I did my daughter’s hair first with the Easy Chignon, which is like the Easy Updo, only knotched up a level with a few twists.  It looks elegant and unique…so much so that when we went to Costco, she received compliment after compliment on her hair. (Plus she’s a pretty cute kid to boot.)  I fell in serious LIKE with the Easy Chignon (I would say love, but it seems wrong to use that adjective with a hairstyle when it’s the same one I use when talking about my family).

easy_chignon

This was a challenge for me in that it did not come with a tutorial-only a picture!  Figuring out how to do cute hairstyles that I saw on Pinterest…typically not my strong point.  But seeing as I have been surprising myself as of late, I decided to give it a go-and was pleasantly surprised!

Since this did not come with a tutorial, I decided to create my own in case anyone else was interested in replicating this cute, unique ‘do.

chignon-tutorial-1chignon-tutorial-2

A) Starting at the top of the side of the head, take a strand of hair and twist, gradually adding more hair in as you work your way down the head.  At the bottom, secure your twisted strand of hair with a low-hanging strand to secure it in place.  Repeat the process on the other side of the head.

B) Gather all of the hair (including the two twists) into a low-hanging ponytail.  Invert the ponytail. (For those not familiar with this, all you do is make a hole in the hair right above the hair elastic, and pull the bottom of the ponytail through the top of the hole and all the way through.)

C) Rubber band the ponytail about 1-2 inches from the bottom of the ponytail.  Tuck it into the inverted ponytail and bobby pin to secure.

D) Ta-da- all finished!  You can adjust the chignon so that it is looser or tighter, depending on how you want the final product to look.

Note: It is a good idea to have on hand ‘clear’ elastics!  For my family, that means having these brunette elastics (see picture below) on hand-the match our hair almost perfectly and blend right in!  These have made all the difference in hairstyles such as this one.

elastics

Join us tomorrow for a few twists on the common ponytail! (Man I wish I would have known these back in my ‘ponytail phase’ of life…which lasted for a loooooooooooooong time!!)

Que descansen bien!

Katie

 

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Day 8: The Sock Bun + a therapeutic STUFF purge

If you want a perfectly round bun, then the sock bun is for you!  The fantastic thing about this bun is that you can virtually put it just about anywhere on your head.  Just locate the base of the ponytail where you want your final bun to lie…and then follow the [somewhat] easy steps to your perfectly circular bun (aka the Sock Bun)!

My kids LOVED this bun because the first step is cutting the toes off of an old sock.  The next step, at least for my kids, was then to wear the sock toes (sans the rest of the sock) around the living room with wails of laughter.  I loved the sock bun because I got to repurpose an old sock from my bin of socks that are missing their partners!

I present to you, fictitious reader, the Sock Bun:

sock bun

A side view of the Sock Bun:

sock bun side

Steps to the Sock Bun:

1. Find a calf-length sock (a pretty elastic-y one) and cut off the toes.  Then roll your sock into a tight donut.

*Note: If your hair is not super long, or if you are attempting this style on a toddler, use a smaller sock.  For my middle daughter, who is 2 and has hair that falls just below her shoulders, I used an infant sock and it worked perfectly.

2. Make your ponytail.  Remember, the base of the ponytail should be where you want the final bun to lie.

3. Place the sock donut around the ponytail, and move it up the ponytail, until you have 1-2 inches of hair sticking out the top.  Fold the hair that is sticking out under and through.

4. Using both hands, fold the sock and the hair down, until you are at the base of the ponytail.

5. Secure the Sock Bun with bobby pins.

6. Dress up your Sock Bun with a small bow or clip (if desired) and you’re done!

V sock bun

The final product on my middle girl, V! Also note the lip sticking out, as she is in full-pout mode!

Another tip: Use a sock that is similar to your own hair color, you will be glad you did!

Here is a video that shows how to do the Sock Bun on yourself. It’s a bit lengthy, and the actual tutorial doesn’t even start until after the 3 minute mark, so if you don’t have time to spare, I would recommend fast-forwarding to the action.  Here is a second link that shows how to do the Sock Bun on a toddler.

OK, so my kids’ hair is getting better, but I was also hoping to add some go-to Mom ‘Do’s to my repertoire.  Good news: the Sock Bun is multi-generational!  It works just as well for moms as it does for toddlers, teens, etc.

K sock bun

Okay, so I just had to show you all my own sock bun that I did on myself, as I am notoriously bad at doing my own hair! It is kind of a “messy” sock bun, but all in all, not too bad!

I also debated on sharing this next one, but I though, what the heck? I have been working on a Messy Knotted Bun, with mixed results.

messy knotted

It’s a Messy Knotted Bun-you achieve it by tying your hair in knots and then bobby pinning it into place.  My problem is that my ends stick out and my last knots don’t want to stay knotted (don’t know if my hair is quite long enough?).  It’s a work in progress.  Strangely, where I would have found this discouraging before, I actually find myself excited by the challenge!  I have been practicing hair while I watch my kids play, practicing while I watch them splash in the tub, practicing…well, you get the picture.  I like doing hair, and it is no less shocking to me than it is to everyone else!  (Especially those who knew me back in college and high school when my go-to hair was the ponytail!)

In other news, I have mobilized and set a date for my rummage sale!  I went through my kids’ toys today and the guest bed is already STACKED with items for the sale.  It’s a little embarrassing.  It feels so good, though, to see the toys whittled down to only those that my kids use on a regular basis!  Tomorrow I tackle the coat closets and MY closet! It is so….THERAPUETIC to get rid of all this stuff!  I feel 100 pounds lighter already, and I’ve only just started!

Here’s to living well with less-

Katie

PS If you want to see another video on cleansing junk from your house, click this link-my mom shared this video with me and it’s great!

 

 

 

 

Day 7: The Messy Bun + Why I Want to Become More of a Minimalist

So for Day 7 of the 30-Day Hair Challenge I “tackled” the Messy Bun.  It was really very straight forward, but I wanted to take the time to go through the tutorial because so many more complicated hairstyles incorporate the Messy Bun.

The trick to this hairstyle (as I found out by watching numerous tutorials) is to use two hair elastics.

The end result:

messybun

Here is the link that provides a tutorial on 2 different ways to do the messy bun if you’re going to do it on someone else’s hair, and a second link that breaks it down if you want to do it on yourself for some totally stylin’ mom-hair!

Also, I came across some staggering statistics today on the amount of excess we have here in America, and it really hit home.  This has been something that has been heavy on my heart lately, as I have been feeling suffocated by all of the clutter in my life.

I have been slowly whittling away at the junk in our house, but somehow it always finds a way to creep back in, especially after birthdays, holidays, etc.  I am trying to force myself to be a little more brutal and get rid all of the STUFF we just don’t use! The goal is to get back to the bare minimum of what we NEED so I can then focus on what’s important: following hard after God and spending time with family.  And hopefully this will cut back on the time spent cleaning as well, because who really LIKES to clean?  Not this girl.

Wish me luck!  I may have a rummage sale in my future…

Katie

Day 6: Fishtail Braid + DIY Teacher Appreciation Gift!

So I was busy patting myself on the back for the last two hairstyle successes, but also looking to the upcoming fishtail braid with a little bit of dread.  I mean, it looked hard.  Then I watched the tutorial, and I was all like…”You mean, that’s it?”  This is what I had been dreading?  It looked…easy.

And then I pulled it off on the first attempt, and you know what?  It was pretty easy!  All that build-up in my head for nothing!  And you know what else?  I am actually beginning to start to enjoy braiding.  Added bonus:  my girls are LOVING trying all these new hairstyles!  T wakes up every morning and says, “What are you going to do to my hair today, mom?” all excited.  It makes my day!

So the moral of the story is: when you face things head on, the outcome is generally a lot better than you initially picture in your head.  Face your fears and you just may surprise yourself!  Yes, I learned all that from doing hair. 🙂

Oh, yes, the picture:

fishtail

Much as I have enjoyed braiding, I think next I will take a step back and try a few non-braiding hairstyles, starting with the messy bun, which is all the rage these days!

Also, just finished making my daughter’s teacher appreciation gifts, as she has her last day of preschool tomorrow.  Actually, she helped earlier (the hands that you see pictured below are hers)-I was just putting on the finishing touches.

teacher-app

teacher-app-back

Added bonus: Her teachers will all get Roma tomatoes this summer as these are some of our tomato plants from the garden! The gift that keeps on giving, as they say.

Well, that about does it for me tonight…all that hair-doing and crafting has gone and worn me out!  Until we meet again-

Katie

 

Day 5: The Dutch Braid + Pics from the Garden!

So following my smashing success on the French Braid (sorry to so shamelessly toot my own horn, here) I decided to tackle the Dutch Braid.  Admittedly, I got off to a slow start-it took my mind a little bit to adjust to braiding the strands underneath, and not over the top.  However, once I got the hang of it, this was the result:

dutchbraid

The stranding could have been a little bit tighter, but overall, not bad for my first attempt!

In light of 2 hairstyles in a row working out (this is huge for me), I have decided to challenge myself with the fishtail braid next.  Yes, I like to walk on the wild side…and I may be just a little bit crazy (or delusional-I have heard there is a fine line between the two).

Also, in other news…the kids and I went to check on our garden, which is growing quite nicely.  We had also started some watermelon plants…of which 1 is sprouting!  Yes, only 1 (so far).  We have had a bit of a mold issue with the watermelon, which I hear is fairly common when using the grow domes and can be a result of over-watering, so to combat it we sprayed it was a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide.  Per my research, this is supposed to kill the mold, but not harm the plants.

garden-5-9-15

V with all our plants!

 

tomatoes-5-9-15

The tomatoes have really taken off!

 

lonewatermelon5-9-15

The lone watermelon sprout.

Oh, and I almost forgot, we also planted 9 rows of potatoes in the ground!  This was a group effort with both of my girls plus my little brother helping.  (I don’t know if I can call my brother “little” anymore…even though he is younger than me by quite a bit, he also now towers over me.)  Luke, my brother, is convinced that we need 7 more rows of potatoes (we staked out 16 rows in all).  He is building himself a house in my parents backyard (he is 14, not 30-I thought this was an important point to clarify), with plans to live there during the winter and survive off of potatoes.  He has calculated he will need 100 lbs of potatoes to make it through the winter-thus the soon-to-be-16 rows of potatoes!

One last thing…to all you mommas out there, and aunties, and grandmas, and hopeful mommas….please have a WONDERFUL day tomorrow!

Katie

 

Day 4: Back to Basics-The French Braid

Ok, so as I mentioned last hair post, I was going back to basics.  I mean, the beginning is always a good place to start, right?  So after watching this great tutorial on how to do a Basic French Braid, this is the result:

day4-T

day4-Ta

I am a very visual-kinesthetic learner, so it helps me first to see the new skill, and then to do it right after.  The tutorial led me to realize that I had previously been having issues with my finger placement, and once I was able to concentrate on that, it all became much easier!

In light of my mini-success, tomorrow we’re going to take this a step further and attempt the Dutch Braid-or the Outtie French Braid, as some people call it.  I feel like my fingers need to start doing calisthenics to warm up for this…the gauntlet has been thrown!

Wish me luck!

Katie

PS For those of you who are visual learners like myself, here is a video tutorial on the Dutch Braid.  (You will need to subscribe to Bloglovin’ to be able to see the video.)