Here are six snacks that fit all three criteria. My daughter loves all of them except avocado (sad, but if your kids love it, it makes an awesome healthy snack!):
My daughter's favorite! She's never said no when I offer her dates. It's sweet, rich in iron (perfect for pregnant mothers too!), calcium, potassium, manganese, fiber, and vitamin A. They are easy to bring and easy to eat. Just be careful with the seed inside. I usually take the seed out before I give it to my daughter.
Packed with antioxidants, blueberries are easy to bring and is mess-free. Its small size is easy for little hands to grab and it is especially sweet when it's in season (summer).
I first saw a Japanese mother giving her toddlers dried anchovies and upon learning about it, I realize this little fish has such an amazing nutritional profile. It's rich in calcium (actually known as the "King of Calcium" in Korea), omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, D, and E, and selenium. It contains one of least amount of mercury and it tastes naturally salty, a nice variation for kid's snacks.
Dried Fruits and Nuts
Dried cranberries, banana chips, apples, mangoes, and raisins mixed with nuts such as cashews and pistachios are power snacks that provide healthy fats, protein, and other vitamins and minerals. Try to buy organic without added sugar. Be careful of the nuts if your kids are prone to choking. My daughter eats slowly and rather carefully, so it hasn't been a problem for her. You can also dehydrate your own fruits if you have a dehydrator. My friend, Ruth, gave me some of her own dehydrated organic pineapples and apples and they are so delicious.
These last two require minimal prep, but they are healthy and good!
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato is more nutritious than regular potato. It tastes sweet and is rich in vitamin A, C, potassium, and fiber. It also helps to regular blood sugar level. You can serve it in two ways:
1. Bake whole sweet potatoes at 200 Celcius for 30 minutes, cool, and bring it out with you.
2. Make sweet potato fries. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise, put on the baking rack, drizzle with coconut oil or olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt, and bake at 200 Celcius for 20 minutes, or until crispy.
Touted as the best first food for babies, avocado is rich in healthy fats, fiber, potassium, vitamin B, C, E, and K, and is anti-inflammatory. You can bring a whole avocado on the go, cut it open and scoop the meat out for your little ones.
What other healthy snacks that travel well?