School is in full swing.

Job charts are printed out and pasted up, (but the kids still aren’t registering that they are actually there to be filled in yet), we are starting a new scripture routine (that I’m excited about and will talk about soon), the fridge is filled, I’m even planning on making my brother’s “Butter Chicken” tonight.  Oh boy, I better bask in this while it lasts!! 
After all my whining about starting school I feel like all this routine is healing my foggy summer brain and whipping me into shape and all is right in the world (although my desk still looks like a bomb hit, but life is long, right?)
All this organization and scheduling makes me ready to start on my healthy eating goal for our family that I’ve been gearing up for as I have made cookies practically every day this summer (it is bad I’m telling you).  BBS and residual summer-junk-food habits are kicking our trash right now and I’m trying to just fill up our home with only the good stuff.  Right now I’m working on healthy snacks.  I need some new fresh ideas that will excite my kids rather than making them go into an automatic eye-roll.  After school snacks, snacks for lunches, snacks between meals, I need ideas for all of them!  I’m trying to shift over to more Trader Joes and more whole foods but I need some new go-tos (gotta stay away from the chocolate and cashew trail mix but oh man makes my taste buds gear up to think of that deliciousness).  
Does anyone have any awesome ideas they can send over along those lines?  Oh, I would so appreciate it.
Two other things:
1)  We had a little drama with Lucy’s “name tags” she made for dinner the other night.  That girl loves a good name marker on the plates when she sets the table.  She gets so busy making up those little puppies to keep us all situated.  But this time when she got going someone walking by the table made a comment that Grace’s name tag wasn’t as nice as the others, which left Lucy quite huffy and those cute name tags ended up getting scrunched up in the trash by that Lucy who marched out of the kitchen claiming this was the “worst day of her life!” and that she’s “never gonna do those again!”

(She could have written the same thing about every one of us because we are ALL guilty of that, just happened to choose Grace for the phone culprit that day…)

I had to pull them out of the trash to get these pictures so bear with me on the crinkles.

Oh boy.  Teenager-hood is going to be fun with that girl.
2)  I somehow put the Power of Moms link in to my post on Joy School wrong the other day, I am sorry about that!  I’m sure some people went and just googled it, but now the link is fixed and I’m including it here again just in case.  The sale is going until tonight if you’re thinking about doing Joy School this year now is a good time to check it out.  Here’s the right link:
Happy Thursday and may your day be filled with joy and healthy snacks!

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  1. Hi Shawni! Our favorite snacks are microwave popcorn (about 1/4 cup kernels in a paper sack folded over twice at the top and nuked for about 90 seconds) with butter + salt + nutritional yeast (tastes like cheese but is chock-full of vitamins!), or plain yogurt sweetened with a little maple syrup, or our favorite green smoothie (handful of spinach + 2/3 cup frozen mango with 1 banana + about 1 cup cold water — so simple + fresh + tasty!). I'm excited to read other ideas! Thank you for being such a lovely gal + inspiring mama xo

    1. I second the popcorn with nutritional yeast- so good! Recently my go-to is toast topped with avocado and feta cheese. It started out as a snack for me, but surprisingly my one year old loves it too.

    2. I will reiterate the perfection of popcorn (especially from an air popper). It's cheap, healthy, not-too-messy and quick. I also commiserate about finding decent snacks. After making breakfast, packing lunches and prepping dinner, the last thing I want to do is make a snack. Ugh.

  2. My 4yo and I just got back from loading up on snacks at Trader Joe's! She and I love their roasted seaweed snacks, although my husband and 6yo don't care for them. We also love the crispy snap peas. Target has Simply Balanced lightly salted popcorn, which has very little salt, but just enough to make it tasty. I often pack that as a snack. If your kids will eat veggies + hummus or veggies + a yogurt dip, you're doing well. We also do fruit smoothies with frozen bananas (I freeze them when they're about to turn), yogurt, chia seeds, frequently strawberries (b/c my daughter likes them pink) and any other fruit I want to get rid of (and sometimes kale). I'll add a dash of honey if it needs some sweetness, but usually the fruit covers that. We also make these into popsicles, which the kids love (though mine are younger than yours; not sure how into popsicles big kids are).

  3. Snacks in our house are fruit and veg of any kind,. Chop it up and give it to them, it makes it more appealing, toast with marmite but that's a British thing, fresh bread with peanut butter or high fruit jam, cheese, nuts, vegetable chips, raisins, fruit roll ups (the ones made out of only fruit), smoothies, frozen bananas on sticks, cheese crackers biscuits, yoghurt, dried fruits; mine enjoy apple and pineapple, dried banana chips, rice cakes all flavors, cereal bars with high fruit or nut content. These are our staples for lunch boxes and snacks and we do have chocolate muffins or chocolate covered raisins etc too.

  4. Hahaha that name tag is hilarious.

    As for snacks, you can blend a cup of oats so it is finer and mix in with a banana and a couple chocolate chips or nuts and bake for 10 minutes. Its like a healthy cookie. They are pretty good for the cookie cravings.

    maybe try making your own popsicles too?

  5. My kids love the peanut butter delight recipe on Pioneer woman cooks…English muffins (whole wheat) with peanut butter, Apple slices and cinnamon. Fruit salad is nice too.

    Funny about the placemats and her reaction!

  6. We are getting healthy at our house too. I have really enjoyed learning from Lisa Leake over at Here is a great article on healthy snacks for kids, and adults!

    She takes the whole foods thing to a whole new level, a level I will probably never reach, but hearing her ideas gets us closer to being healthy and happy than by not doing anything at all. Hope you enjoy!

  7. We have lots of sports and dance so fast and quick snacks are key!
    1. Homemade popcorn with kernels from bulk store. 2. Whole-grain pancakes with yogurt that we half and add nutella. 3. Always smoothies! We love adding coconut milk instead of the oj or milk. 4. Veggies like carrots, celery and fresh green beans or cucumbers with a white bean dip 5. Egg sandwiches to go that you wrap in aluminum foil so they get gooey. 🙂 And half wheat/half white flour pizza crust with fun toppings is a great snack or dinner. Your photos are so gorg!!

  8. My kids love no-bake energy bites. Typing that phrase into pinterest will pull up several good variations, usually with oatmeal, flaxseed, honey, shredded coconut, and peanut butter. They are tasty and easy to make.

  9. I like prepacking washed and pulled off grapes and freezing them. Just pull out a pack and away you go. Little cheese wheels/packages, spiced almonds (makes me forget trail mix … you can buy from store or make your own), frozen yogurt blobs or tubes, Proteinis (I think that is what they are called … prepared packages of protein and something else), hummus and veggies, ants on a log, cold pancakes with some sort of topping, smoothies, dehydrated fruits, kabobs (fruit, veggies, meat … can prep at the beginning of the week and usually lasts for a few days)

  10. I make our own nut mixes so I have more control of what goes in them–my favorites include raw cashews/almonds, chocolate chips , small or broken pretzel pieces and sunflower seeds. I love a good crunchy/sweet/salty snack. For prepackaged snacks, we like Kind bars and snack and there are a ton of different flavors and skinny cow fudge pops. Also english muffin (you can use whole wheat) pizzas or pizzas made with half of a pita–put in toaster over with some tomato sauce and mozzarella (better if muffin or pita is toasted a bit before putting toppings on and then toasted again). I have been experimenting with sweet potato and zucchini chips by sling thinly, spraying with olive oil (Spray helps from them becoming too oily) and baking. I also read about parmesan chips but haven't tried those yet. Popcorn and whole wheat pretzels can't be beat when they want something fast.
    I try to have my kids figure out what they are craving (salty, sweet, crunchy, cold etc…) and then have snack that fit into those groups. When my kids come home from school I feel that sometimes they are really hungry for something substantial and they just keep snacking instead of eating something that will really fill them up so then I suggest they have some turkey slices or a peanut butter sandwich. I try and persuade them to have something like that first and then see how they feel. It at least helps cut down the amount of cookies they scarf down.

  11. Cut bananas into slices, spread pb (natural preferred) on the top, put another slice on top to make a sandwich. Place them in freezer bags and you can pull those out whenever you want a healthy snack. We also love Greek yogurts, hummus with carrots, I'll make a Tupperware full of sliced cucumbers and pour some balsamic dressing and salt/pepper in too. The kids will eat that out of the fridge for days. Energy balls….google recipes for various ones (ours have oatmeal, pb, etc) …we also keep the brand Premium from costco protein shakes in the fridge. My boys drink those instead of choc milk and they love them…especially on the go. Healthy popcorn is great too!

  12. My kids have been having a bowl of frozen strawberries after school. If you buy the ones at SAMs, they are pre-sliced, the perfect size for snacking, and oh so good on those 113° days!

  13. I suggest couscous/qionoa salads, chickpea salad, falafel w/ hummus and cucumber+tomato, caprese skewers, cantaloupe and feta, antipasti w/ breadsticks…

    1. Oh forgot to mention Middle Eastern Lentil Salad and Morrocan Carrot Salad (my 8-year-old's favorite!)… if you're interested in any of the recipes, let me know, I'd be happy to share. Greetings from Germany.

  14. Hi Shawni!

    This is not a helpfull comment, since it's just an observation, and not a snack recipe. 🙂
    I'm very surprised with the different food we eat, not just you, but even other american bloggers I follow.I'm from a mediterranean country, so what in America you call organic food , it's what everyone eats on a daily basis. A normal snack for me it's bread (it's not sliced bread, it's fresh baked bread) with ham, or cheese and an apple. Most of the recipes you post, I'm not able to follow, because I cannot find those ingredients on my country.
    One of theese days, I will take a photo and send you a typical recipe ;D


    p.s. I'm still reading the book of Mormom you send me awhile ago…difficult than I thought, but surprising!


  15. I LOVE Trader Joe's! We always buy the Trader Joe's Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies. They are a quick go to sweet low calorie snack to put in school lunches (my work lunches) and book bags. My youngest just turned 17, and she LOVES them (as does her dad). We also buy their individual trail mixes. They are an easy go to to throw in a bag, purse, or whatever. But, I will say, the easiest for us, especially with us so much on the go, is boiling eggs ahead of time, cheese (individual Laughing Cow I love) pretzels, fruit, and peanut butter. I try to have protein and carbs ready since my husband works out in the heat all day, and marching band is in full swing, we need lots of replenishment sometimes.

  16. The key for my family is to leave out bowls of healthy snacks on the counter. I leave out good choices like baby carrots (put a little water in the bowl if they start to turn white), grapes, almonds, cut up peaches, cut up pineapple, berries (whatever is in season), pea pods, etc. Keep toothpicks nearby for the cut up fruit.

  17. I don't have kids but what about fruit with all/unsweetened peanut or almond butter? I remember having that ALL. THE. TIME. after school and still love it to this day.

    Also, lol on Lucy's name tag. In cleaning out my parents' basement this fall we found my childhood diaries, and it was absolutely hilarious what I would deem as the "worst day ever."

  18. I laughed out loud at those name tags. Little sisters are brutally honest sometimes! One of our favorite healthy snacks are peanut butter power balls (they seriously taste like dessert. So good) recipe is from cleansimpleeats. You can follow her on Instagram…tons of great recipes!

    1c. All natural PB
    1/2 c. Raw honey
    2 scoops vanilla protein powder
    1.5 cups of oats
    1 tsp vanilla
    Dash of salt

    Mix everything but oats. Then stir in oats last. Scoop into balls and place in fridge. Enjoy!

  19. I didn't read the other comments so I'm not sure if someone shared this idea but this is my favorite healthy snack:

    Mix honey Greek yogurt with blueberries and freeze into bit sized pieces. Then when you are hungry you can just take a couple of those from the freezer and enjoy!

  20. is a good resource. It's written by a lady who has treated her hashimotos disease with the GAPS diet, so that might be interesting for you, too.

  21. Hi Shawni! Long time reader from Texas here, but I rarely comment.
    I have lots of awesome snack and meal recipes filled with healthy ingredients and I would be more than happy to pass them along. If you wouldn't mind emailing me, I can send them to you that way much easier than entering them all here. My email address is carrieannejones2001 ATyahooDOTcom

    Thanks for all the ways you encourage me along on this parenting journey. It is just flat hard some days, but it's my most favorite! I always leave your writings either giggling, or with deep things to ponder in my heart…both great things! Here's to journeying motherhood together, via this world wide internets, ha!!

    May. Your days be filled with schedules, healthy food, and Jesus!

  22. Pistachios. French vanilla yogurt covered blueberries and put in the freezer, mmmm. Slices of avocado. Make quacamole and dip carrots and celery into it. I like to put a white chocolate chip into our raspberries for a little fun surprise. 😉

  23. We live in the desert as well and my kids love frozen bananas! We also get pink grapefruit in cups from Costco. These are so good frozen or just from the refrig. We also get Snapea Crisps (like a healthy chip) from Costco. They don't sound good at all but they are delicious!!!! Hope this helps!

  24. I love all these ideas, too. I need to go through here and make some kind of a menu for my kids for lunches. They never know what to pack and end up packing junk most of the time (they do their own lunches for the most part). One healthier idea for lunches that we like is this recipe: You could do a half whole wheat bread, too. After making a big batch you can freeze them and then just pop them in lunches. They thaw well by lunchtime and stay cold that way.

  25. Wow! Great ideas here. I'm taking notes as I read. Thanks everyone!

    I put out cut veggies after school with home made ranch and if that's all I have available my kids gobble it up before dinner. ( I really think the key is not having any other dry processed junk available.)

    To make the ranch just use plane Greek yogurt (with a little mayo mixed in if you like) and add dill (most important), parsley, garlic powder, celery salt and dried onions or chopped chives. It's not the most gourmet thing in the world, but easy to make and have on hand and certainly better (for you) than hidden valley :).

  26. My kids are a bit younger but love homemade sushi, very nutritious and yummy! Also peel and freeze bananas then whizz them up – it becomes 'ice cream'
    Bliss balls in another favourite – there are so many pales versions on Pinterest (wheat free, dairy free, refined sugar free) let me know if you would like me to send my favourites.
    Otherwise it's celery and carrot sticks w hummus or rice crackers or fruit….
    Looking at starting to make healthy muffins

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