Leaves are turning from shades of green to explosions of red, orange, and yellow. Days are shorter, and checkout lines are longer as shoppers scramble for last-minute school supplies. Fall is here.
Autumn may cool things down, but it doesn’t stop kids from outdoor adventure. Fuel your little ones’ exploration and imagination with these five healthy fall snacks for kids. Some you can whip up in five minutes; the rest store for days, or even months, to curb quick cravings any time.
Savory-or-Sweet Celery Sticks
Celery is a cool-weather crop, prime for the picking in autumn or early winter. It’s low in calories, a rich source of antioxidants, and contains a laundry list of phytonutrients. Pair a stick of the good green with cream cheese and/or Greek yogurt, and sprinkle crumbled pretzels, cashews, sliced grape tomatoes, or peas on top for a savory, healthy treat. For a sweeter, more familiar version, swap the cream cheese for peanut butter and top with your kids’ favorite dried fruits.
- 2 sticks of celery
- 4–6 Tbsp. cream cheese and/or Greek yogurt (or peanut butter), blended to taste
- Garnishes of choice
Wash and cut celery sticks into four 4-inch segments. Fill each stick with roughly 1 Tbsp. of spread. Top with your children’s favorite garnishes. For some foodie fun, try making these pretzel stick butterflies.
Maple Cranberry Granola Mix
Fall is prime harvest for cranberries, a tart superfruit packed with vitamins C, A, and K, fiber, and a range of other nutrients. And while maple syrup is sugary, it also contains manganese, zinc, calcium, riboflavin, magnesium, and potassium. Bake up this seasonal staple and send your little adventurers off with a bag—prefect for healthy fall snacks for kids.
- 2 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss oats, almonds, cranberries, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl to combine. Add maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Stir until the oats are evenly coated. Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet and bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. To help granola preserve its crunchy texture, cool completely before serving.
Oh-So-Nice Pumpkin Spice Crockpot Oatmeal
Ah, pumpkin, the delicious and underappreciated fall staple. Or overappreciated, depending on your perspective. Either way, they’re packed with vitamin A and are a good source of fiber, potassium, antioxidants, and other key nutrients. Expand your kids’ palettes with this crockpot oatmeal, a perfectly warm treat for a crisp fall afternoon. All it takes is five ingredients and a crockpot. Chill after cooking and easily reheat any time your kids crave a warm pick-me-up.
- 2 cups water
- 2 ½ cups milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- Optional sweetener, such as raw honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar
Place all ingredients except sweetener in crockpot and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 5–9 hours. Serve plain or with added sweetener, to taste. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.