Autumn Snacks for Kids!
October is the month of pumpkins, ginger, apples, and spice, and all of these rainy days are giving us autumn snack cravings! However, when on a recent google hunt for autumn snacks, we found nothing but “candy corn”, “pumpkin-spice oreos”, and “autumn trail mix”. All of these, obviously, good options, but require a trip to America or at least a hefty Amazon order for the right ingredients. What about some autumn snacks for kids made from ingredients you can find at your local Albert Heijn, or perhaps the Utrecht Farmer’s Market? Enjoy this list of 15 autumn snacks for kids!
Autumn is the season chestnuts fall from the trees, and we should definitely take advantage of that! Chestnuts are full of fat-soluble B vitamins that promote healthy skin, produce red blood cells and improve brain function…and they’re also super tasty and versatile! Either sweet or savoury, you can pick them up on one of the many markets in Utrecht – freshly roasted, and full of flavour. Or buy them in your local store and roast them yourself! Alternatively, if you have a good blender, add the roasted chestnuts to it, add some dates, maple syrup, hazelnuts, shredded coconut, some cinnamon and salt, and blend it up! Form them into little balls for chestnut energy bites! Some recipes that we love are Chestnut No Cake Energy Bites by Karuna, and Festive Chestnut Bites by The Hungry Herbivores.
There’s really nothing you can’t do with apples. There’s the basics, like apple pie, apple cake, apple muffins…the list goes on. Of course these are super fun and easy to make with kids on a weekend or after school, and to enjoy them on a brisk autumn walk. These are also very easy to turn into healthier snacks – with oat flour and natural sugars like honey or mashed banana. We’re sure you either have the recipes for these simple bakes down (and if you don’t…there’s so many recipes online!). But if you’re looking for something original and new, we have some ideas.
To start simply: dried apple slices. All you need is 3 apples (…freshly picked perhaps?), 2 tablespoons of honey, and some lime juice. Slice the apples and cover them in a mixture of honey and lime juice, and pop them in the oven on 65 or 70° C for 6 hours. Yes…that’s quite a while. But so worth the wait! And you’ll have a delicious, easy-to-store snack that lasts for up to a week (if you or the kids don’t finish them earlier). It’s also a great way to use up extra apples you have left from your recent apple-picking trip.
Speaking about using up excess apples, applesauce is a very simple and great way to ensure they don’t go to waste! All you need is the apples, water, a sweetener of choice (optional), cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice. Peel and core the apples, and chop them into tiny pieces. Add them to a pot with about 1/2 cup of water, and the other ingredients. Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover the pot to allow the apples to cook for about half an hour. Then, you can either mash or puree the apples to make applesauce. Applesauce can be enjoyed by itself, or alongside other dishes. The Dutch love to dip french fries into it, but you can have it alongside sweet potatoes, on overnight oats, pancakes, or add it into your own baked goods.
If you don’t want to wait 6 hours for dried apple slices or prepare the apple sauce, a much quicker snack are apple sandwiches! Cut the apples into round slices, and spread your favourite nut-butter on top. Then, cover add some walnuts, dark chocolate chips, and perhaps some coconut flakes on top for the perfect quick and healthy but decadent-feeling snack.
For something a bit more savoury and hearty, try the toast with cream cheese, apple slices, and muesli! Toast some slices of whole-grain bread (or really any bread you like), and spread your preferred cream cheese on the toasted slices. Place thinly sliced apple slices (green granny smith apples are the best for this snack!) on top of the layer of cream cheese. At this point, if the kids are ravenous after a long and chilly afternoon in the playground, cover the apple slices with a bit more cream cheese and stack more slices on top, after which you can sprinkle some muesli on top and perhaps a little drizzle of honey or agave syrup. A great and hearty autumn snack!
Lastly, for an easy and fun snack: Apple Pie Yoghurt Dip! All you need it Vanilla (or plain) Greek Yoghurt, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of almond butter, and apple pie spice (or just mix nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice). Thoroughly mix these ingredients together until well-combined and smooth. Next, slice some apples for dipping, and perhaps add some graham crackers. In the Netherlands, graham crackers are hard to find in local grocery stores, but can easily be substituted with plain digestive biscuits.
Oats are incredibly nutritious, both as a meal and a snack! They are a good source of carbs and fiber, and are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds that will keep your kids sustained and still their hunger after a long afternoon at school or running around the playground! There’s an infinite way to prepare oats, some more exciting than others. After rigorous debate, we’ve listed our favourite autumn snacks for kids starring oats!
Firstly, Hearty Autumn Stovetop Oatmeal is a great way to warm up on a chilly autumn day – and can also be used for breakfast! You need 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of milk of your choice, and one teaspoon of vanilla. Bring these ingredients to a soft boil in a pot on medium-high heat. Lower the heat when the oats start to simmer. After about five minutes of simmering and thickening, add 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (or the apple sauce you made earlier!), 1/2 cup of raisins, 1/4 cup of pitted dates, 1/4 a cup of pecans, and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds. Mix it all through, and add extra milk and/or maple syrup to taste. Once you’ve reached the perfect consistency and taste, add the mixture to a bowl, top with more pumpkin seeds, pecans, coconut flakes, and sprinkle some cinnamon. Now the oatmeal is ready to be enjoyed as autumn snacks for kids or even for breakfast!
For a more portable snack, try Fall Harvest Oat Bars! Start by pre-heating your oven to 180° C. Spread 2 cups of old-fashioned oats, 1 cup of whole almonds and 1/2 a cup of pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet. Toast these in the oven until slightly golden, which takes about 12 minutes. Then, transfer them to a mixing bowl. Next, chop 1 cup of pitted dates in a food processor in short bursts until you have a rough paste. Scrape these into the bowl with the oat mixture. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm up 1/3 a cup of maple syrup and 1/4 a cup of creamy almond butter, stirring to blend. Once it’s well-blended, add the mixture to the bowl, add 1/2 a cup of dried cranberries, and mix well. Next, line a pan with baking parchment paper, and transfer the mixture on top. Press it down hard with a spoon until its compact, and freeze it for 20 minutes. Lastly, lift the contents out of the pan, and chop it into bars. You now have some home-made, healthy oat bars that make for a perfectly portable autumn snacks for kids!
Lastly, we love this Oatmeal Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies recipe by Leelalicious. Again, you’ll start by pre-heating your oven to 180° C. Also, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set this aside for later. In a bowl, mix 1/2 a cup of melted coconut oil, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/4 a cup of pumpkin puree, and 1/3 a cup of maple syrup. Next, add in 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/4 a cup of flaxmeal (or ground flaxseeds), 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 a teaspoon of cloves, 1/4 a teaspoon of nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Mix these until everything is well blended together, before folding in 1 cup of raisins. With a tablespoon, scoop up the mixture and place little blobs of it on the parchment paper. Place them in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until golden-brown and solid. Let them cool down for a bit, and then they’re ready to enjoy! These cookies feel like a treat, but they’re mostly quite healthy and amazing autumn snacks for kids!
Pumpkins and Squashes
Of course, pumpkins and squashes are the stars of the autumn foods – so we’ve saved the best for last! Pumpkins and squashes are very versatile, and make for great savoury or sweet autumn snacks for kids. Because most of the snacks we’ve covered so far have been sweet, we decided to focus on the less-explored, savoury pumpkin and squash snacks.
Firstly, Savoury Pumpkin Bread is an amazing alternative to its sweeter sister, and a great way to sneak vegetables into the kids’ diet! Start by preheating your oven to 180° C, spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and dust it with some flour. In a bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients of this dish: 2 eggs, 1 cup of yoghurt, and 1/4 a cup of olive oil. Then mix in 1 cup of pumpkin puree. Set this mixture aside, and grab a larger bowl. In this bowl, mix together the following dry ingredients: 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder, 2 teaspoons of thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, folding them in slowly in three batches. Once everything is combined, transfer the mixture into the loaf pan, place it in the oven, and let it bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can tell when its ready if you can poke a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean. Let it cool down for about 20 minutes, and it’s ready to enjoy! You can serve it with (pumpkin) soup, butter, apple sauce, or just enjoy by itself! You can also add other veggies to this load, such as finely shredded zucchini or carrots!
Next, add an autumn-y twist to your classic hummus snacks by introducing pumpkin! Classic hummus is made with 1 can of chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of tahini, 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, juice from 1 lemon, 2 cloves of garlic (or honestly however much you want), 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, but pumpkin or squash is super easy to incorporate into this mix. In a mixer, add all the classic hummus ingredients listed above, and add 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree (or fresh oven-roasted roasted pumpkin). To bring out that pumpkin flavour, add ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and¼ teaspoon ground of paprika. Blend these ingredients together until the mixture is smooth, and add water if it is too thick. To serve, place the hummus in a bowl, and optionally drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, garnish with sesame seeds, chopped parsley and paprika. Serve the hummus with veggies such as peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes, or with crackers/pita bread. A super delicious savoury pumpkin snack!
Thirdly, Pumpkin & Sage Savory Muffins are a savoury alternative to their sweeter cousins, and just as delicious! You will need a well-greased muffin tin for this one, and as always: start by preheating your oven to 160° C. Mix the following dry ingredients together in a large bowl: 1 cup of whole wheat flour
½ cup of oats, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Once these are well-combined, add 2 cups of pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and stir well. Be careful not to over mix the dough. Scoop the mixture into the muffin tin, and let them bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Let them cool down for a while, and they’re ready to be enjoyed! The pumpkin can alternatively by substituted for acorn squash baked in the oven and blended into a smooth puree.
Lastly, Baked Acorn Squash Boats with Yoghurt, Honey and Pecans make for a lovely afternoon pick-me-up or a nutritious breakfast for both you and the kids! You’ll need to preheat your oven to 200° C, and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. To serve two people, cut one medium acorn squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Place halves facing up on foil-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Rub this mixture into each half of the insides of the acorn squash using your fingers. Place 1 teaspoon of brown sugar in the middle of each half and rub this into the squash as well. Bake for 45 min-1 hour or until squash is fork tender. Allow it to cool down for 5-10 minutes, and now comes the fun part. Scoop 1/2 cup of your preferred yoghurt into each squash half. Then drizzle with honey or agave syrup, and top with pecans. You can serve the squash boat like this, or go wild with your own creative toppings. Walnuts, dark chocolate chips, coconut flakes, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds also add for great topics, and almond butter makes for a great drizzle.
We hope these creative and unique autumn snack recipes for kids are helpful to you this autumn, we’d love to see your creations! You can tag us in your Instagram photos, or use the hashtag #näppautumn to show us your autumn snacks!