Joanna Venditti: Styled Chaos


Healthy Snack Hacks from a Busy Mom of Four Young Kids

Give your kids independence with these on-the-go snacks

Healthy Snack Hacks from a Busy Mom of Four Young Kids

When I became a mother, I quickly learned many new survival skills that make life with kids a lot easier: how to swaddle a baby like a pro, how to transfer a sleeping child from the car to their crib (without waking them), and how to make life on-the-go as easy as possible. There are a lot of amazing gadgets coming out each day that are meant to occupy your little one while in the car, or in their stroller. But when it comes to my kids, having snacks packed and ready to dole out is the key to a successful outing.

With babies, snack time is pretty simple. Either breastfeed on-the-go, or pack a couple of bottles.

Tip: With my twins, I used a Blender Bottle and portable bottle cooler to tote around their extra formula. As my kids got older, I had to get more creative with snacks that weren't only convenient, but heathy too.

Today, I have four kids, ages six, five and 20-month-old twins. Between school drop-offs and extra curricular activities, I am always on the go with my little clan. It often ends up being my twin toddlers and I watching the older kids at swimming lessons, or my son's new passion: taekwondo. As my two youngest grow, so does their interest in being independent. This has changed the type of snacks I pack. Gone are the days that I try to spoon-feed applesauce, or yogurt into their mouths. I have had one too many spoons get whacked out of my hand, sending a mess flying and leaving me feeling frustrated.

What are some of my must-have on-the-go snacks? I don't have a lot of time to whip up homemade granola bars, or muffins, so I rely on nutritious ready-to-go snacks. One of my newest favorites is Yoplait’s Minigo Pouches. Our twins not only love the taste, but also the independence the clever packaging gives them.

Oh, and it takes them a while to eat the whole thing, keeping them occupied, which is a huge plus for me!

What else do I pack in my bag of snack-arsenal? Here are my go-to healthy on-the-go snack-hacks...

Fresh Fruits and Veggies

  • Raspberries
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Blueberries
  • Snow Peas

Tip: These travel best in small tupperware containers, especially in Rubbermaid's LunchBlox kits that come with the click-in freezer pack. Adding some hummus, or yogurt to dip is also a great idea, keeps your kids busy and give them some independence. - See more at:


  • Crackers and cheese (I will either have the cheese in small cube, loose with crackers in a container, or sometimes I will cut the cheese into small slices and allow my twins to make their own cheese and cracker sandwiches)
  • Plain popcorn, with a handful of chocolate chips thrown in (wait for the popcorn to cool down to room temperature before adding the chocolate chips!)
  • Pretzels
  • Fish crackers

Tip: I find that munchies travel best in Ziplock bags, reusable zippered cloth bags, or my favourite: snack catchers.

Pre-Packaged Snacks

  • Mr. Christie's soft baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies - not only do these come in convenient little packs, they've also hidden fruit and vegetable puree in them
  • Yoplait's Minigo Pouches - the yogurt is made with whole milk and real fruit (including strawberry and raspberry), and is a source of calcium and vitamin D—essential nutrients for building strong bones     
  • Once the big kids are done their activity, they rummage through our snack bag, looking for something yummy after being so active.

I must admit, these snacks aren't only limited to when we are out and about. Because they're nutritious and convenient, I serve the exact same snacks at home. Let's face it, four kids are active all of the time, regardless of where we are, and need constant refuelling.

Each new age and stage will present new challenges that I'll need to problem solve and find life hacks to make easier. But I am pretty sure my arsenol of ready-to-go snacks will be sticking around for a long time.