Five easy snacks that kids will want to eat.

Patti Andrews has a knack for making simple stuff like chicken rolls and fruit muffins taste friggen delicious. (Which she shares over at @pizza_night_ for everyone to enjoy!) She’s a mum and a recipe maker and a real snack lover. And because we are also real snack lovers (and to celebrate the launch of our adorable Lil' Cooler), we hit Patti up for her five favourite go-to snacks. Recipes that are easy and tasty, that time-crunched parents can actually make and fussy kids will actually eat.

But first! A few handy thoughts, from one snack lover (Patti) to another (you)...

1. All the recipes below can be made ahead, stored and thrown to hungry wildlings at a moment’s notice or packed into a lunchbox if you’re heading out.

2. Food does not need to look perfect, it still tastes the same.

3. Make food you want to eat, and make enough for you. Otherwise, you may find yourself on the Discarded Crust Diet™, wondering why you are a bit cranky.

4. Know your audience. Chef Judy Rodgers famously said “Recipes do not make food taste good; people do.” Adapt these recipes to suit your family. We believe in you. Even better, get them to help!

5. If all else fails, pop these snacks on the bench with a sign that says ‘DO NOT EAT’ and watch them disappear

1. Dip The Rainbow

If your family are monsters, like mine, and always mix the play-dough colours together… these dips will make them happy. It’s home economics, art and science in one.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes for the basic bean dip, see each colour for individual cooking times

Basic Bean Dip

You’ll need:
2 medium sized garlic cloves
1 x 240g can cannellini beans, drained
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
½ tbs lemon juice
½ tbs apple cider vinegar

How-to:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Place garlic cloves in an oven-proof dish with a splash of olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes or until soft.
3. Remove from the oven and peel.
4. Blend garlic and remaining ingredients together until smooth.

Turn it: Pink!

Prep time: 3 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

1. Wash a large beetroot and place in a pot with enough water to cover it.
2. Bring water to the boil and simmer for 40 mins, checking the water level doesn’t get too low.
3. Once you can stick a fork into it, cool and peel.
4. Blend beetroot into Basic Bean Dip.

Turn it: Green

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

1. Steam half a bunch of kale or leaves, removed from stem.
2. Blend kale with ½ tsp honey and a handful of basil leaves into Basic Bean Dip.

Turn it: Yellow!

Prep time: 3 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

1. Steam three carrots until soft (this should take about 20 minutes).
2. Blend carrots and a pinch of turmeric into Basic Bean Dip.

Bonus points! Use in sandwiches or rainbow scrolls (spread onto pastry with grated cheese, roll them up and bake).

 

2. Granola Clusters

Meet the modern-day Honey Crunch where you have the naming rights. Cookies? Yes. Muesli bites? Uh huh. Crunchable Bickies? You are getting the hang of this.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 mins

You’ll need:
3 cups of oats
1 cup chopped almonds
½ cup melted coconut oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1½ tbs honey (don’t skimp here, however tempting, or clusters will not form)
½ cup shredded coconut

How-to:
1. Preheat your oven to 110°C.
2. Apart from the shredded coconut, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and flatten out onto a lined tray.
3. Bake for 20 minutes, add coconut and give it all a good mix with a wooden spoon.
4. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until your granola is a light toastie-brown.
5. Leave to cool (no stirring!) and little clusters will form as the honey and coconut oil firm up.

Bonus points! Keep any leftover crumbs, add yoghurt and fresh fruit… and you’ve got yourself breakfast.

 

3. Best Mates: Egg & Cucumber

Ideal for days when you open the fridge and stare at it while your kids get hangrier and hangrier. Also proof that snacking does not need to be complicated. Hot tip: Save the water, cool it and use it to water your plants. They will love that calcium!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 6:20 minutes

You’ll need:
4 eggs
1 slice lemon (optional)
4 mini cucumbers
½ tsp soy sauce
3 drops sesame oil

How-to:
1. Fill a pot with water and bring to the boil.
2. Add a slice of lemon (for easier peeling).
3. Carefully lower eggs into the water.
4. Boil for 6 minutes and 20 seconds for a not-quite-set yolk.
5. Plunge into cold water for 3 minutes and then peel.
6. Chop cucumber into strips, place in a bowl and stir through soy sauce and sesame oil.

Bonus points! Add mayonnaise and turn it into a sandwich.

 

4. Tropicool Ice Blocks

Best enjoyed on a trampoline, with a sprinkler underneath. You can, of course, serve the recipe as a smoothie… just make sure all of your ingredients are cold to start with. Other combos to try: acai, blueberry and coconut or peanut butter, banana and honey.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 seconds plus freezing

You’ll need:
2 bananas (at the just ripe stage)
½ cup pineapple
½ cup mango
1 passionfruit
1½ cups coconut water or cream

How-to:
1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
2. Pour into ice-block moulds or into a container and freeze. If using a container, scrape with a fork after the first two hours to create a granita (otherwise, you will end up with a solid brick).

Bonus points! Place into soda water for a fizzy mocktail.

 

5. Dried-Fruitfully Yours

No-mess fruit in the car can exist. Meet Crunch and Sip’s MVP, the playdate snack of our dreams and the cup-cake topper you didn’t know you needed. Pop a timer on to avoid turning them into dust. Dust is not the goal.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 7 hours

You'll need:
Apples, pears, strawberries, pineapple, peaches, tomatoes and mangoes
work best for this recipe.

How-to:
1. Preheat the oven to a very low 65°C fan forced.
2. Slice fruit 2-3mm thick and place in one layer onto a lined or mesh oven tray.
3. Pop it in the oven for 7 hours, rotating the tray every two hours to avoid hot spots.
4. Remove from tray. They don’t take long to cool.

Bonus points! Serve with cashews or almonds to keep tummies full for longer.