Though this summer hasn't exactly been conducive to lounging at the local pool, we've still managed to use our pass several times...
As you can imagine, loading up 5 kids and all of their gear to hit the pool for a few hours is no easy feat, but I've become somewhat of an expert over the years. I learned early on that there are some so-called essentials that you can make do without ( a forgotten towel... or three, swim goggles, noodles, etc.), but there are two Essentials with a capital E that cannot be left behind -- sunscreen (of course!) and snacks.
Yes, just as my kids get hangry on road trips, they also tend to get hangry at the pool. Purchasing snacks at the snack stand just ain't going to happen -- a bottle of water and a bag of chips will run you close to $5! So I always make sure to have plenty of snacks and bottled water on hand that we can grab on our way out the door.
My husband and I encourage our kids to live a healthy lifestyle, so we do have a few criteria for snacking at the pool. Basically our snacks need to support our healthy lifestyle, and they need to be relatively mess-free.
With a variety of snack crackers and cookies and fruit snacks to choose from, Horizon Snacks are one of my kids' favorite grab and go options. Horizon Fruit Snacks can easily be tossed into my bag as is, but the crackers and cookies come in larger multi-serving packages. So I enlist my kids to help me portion them out into single serving size portions, using mall snack size plastic bags.
By involving my kids in this simple task, they're learning some important lessons: 1) They're gaining knowledge of what a single serving portion looks like instead of just reaching mindlessly into a box of snacks. 2) Even my 7-year-old noticed that a serving size is not the same across the board.
For example, you can eat a lot more Horizon Cheddar Snack Crackers than Horizon Cheddar Sandwich Crackers per serving. And the Horizon Cinnamon Snack Grahams fall somewhere in between the two. I love that they're learning to make informed decisions about the foods that they're eating!
Print this B1G1 Horizon Snack Crackers coupon to give them a try at a big savings!
My kids loooovvvveee grapes -- they definitely do not last long around our house. If I wash a bunch and put them in the refrigerator, they're typically gone within 24 hours!
On a hot summer day, they especially love them frozen grapes. To make this cool and refreshing snack, simply wash them and pat dry. Then spread them out on a cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer until frozen. Transfer them to a Ziploc bag or plastic container for storage.
Bonus: they help keep your cooler cold without bulky ice packs!
Carrots and Hummus
Carrots and hummus are one of my personal favorite snacks, and I'm slowly converting my kids. Why hummus and not ranch? Well, I have a slight aversion to warm ranch dressing, and any kind of dip gets warm quickly in the hot summer sun. If you want a tasty change of pace from carrots, try fresh snap peas!
Dried Fruits & Nuts
Dried fruits and nuts are a perennial favorite, but we skip the convenience packages. Purchasing bags of various fruits and nuts to create your own fruit and nut combinations is super budget friendly and takes almost no time at all when you enlist your kids' help. My favorite pairing is tart dried cherries with almonds!
Granola bars always go over well with kids, don't they? We're not above picking some up at the store, but when we have time, this Homemade Granola Bars recipe is tops in our book. We make them a little bitt different every time by choosing different fruits and nuts!
If you don't mind a little stickiness, these No Bake Peanut Butter Bars are always a hit, as well. You'll definitely want to pack them in a cooler, though, so they don't get too soft.
What are your go-to snacks to pack for a day at the pool or beach?
This conversation is sponsored by Horizon. The opinions and text are all mine.