“Mom, I’m hungry!”

September 18, 2023 | Katy Moscoso


As a mom of two young kids, it seems like I spend most of my day preparing meals and snacks. Now that my oldest is back at preschool, having planned snacks during the week saves me a lot of time when we are running to and from activities. I love snacks that can be thrown together quickly and are easy to transport wherever we find ourselves throughout the day.

When my daughter was beginning to eat more solid foods, I found myself getting overwhelmed over what snacks to buy at the grocery store. Over time I began to realize that I could offer the same foods that we eat at mealtimes, just in snack portions. This also allows me to prep snacks at the same time I prepare meals. I aim for 3 food groups in our snacks. Typically, this looks like a protein + a fruit/vegetable + a grain item. My main goal when choosing snacks is to offer a variety while also providing foods that will keep my kids’ tummies full until we have our next meal. Some days I still hear “Mom, I’m hungry!” more times than I would like to admit, but at least I can make snack time easier by having a plan.

I usually go to the grocery store once a week. When I write out my grocery list, I include a few additional items that I need for well-balanced snacks, and then I keep a running list in my kitchen of what combinations I can create for the week. Having a 13-month-old and an almost 5-year-old keeps me on my toes. Anything I can do to take the guesswork out of my day, the better!

A few of my girls’ favorite snack combos are below. Check out Spend Smart. Eat Smart. for more snack ideas!

What snack combinations do you enjoy during the week?

Katy Moscoso

Katy Moscoso is a Program Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. As a mom to both a toddler and a preschooler, Katy loves trying new recipes that are quick and versatile. Cooking meals that can provide leftovers to fill her fridge and freezer is a win during this busy season!

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