Healthy and Easy To Go Snacks for Kids – The Dutch Way
We’ve now given you a whole list of great activities in cities all over the Netherlands, but while you’re on the way how are you going to keep the kids’ hunger at bay? This proves to be a challenge for expats living in the Netherlands, because a lot of traditionally Dutch snacks are not necessarily known to be healthy, easy, or travel friendly. Googling “Dutch Snacks for Kids” will give you pages full of bitterballen, stroopwafels, eierkoek, frikandellen, or vla…all great options for a treat once in a while but not the best if you’re trying to keep your kid healthy on the go!
So, to help you out we’ve created a useful guide that should give you some inspiration for healthy and easy snacks to pack on the go for the kids, using ingredients available in the Dutch supermarkets. We hope this will be a helpful guide for you!
Grocery Stores in The Netherlands
Firstly, lets get our options out there. The main grocery stores in the Netherlands are Albert Heijn, Jumbo, and Plus, and then there are some smaller but internationally recognized ones such as Spar, Aldi, and Lidl. If you mainly shop for biological/organic products, or if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you will find lots of options at Ekoplaza. We also recommend that for any large amounts of fruit or vegetables, you shop at a local Turkish or Asian supermarket as the options there are usually better, the fruit/veg is fresher, cheaper, and you will produce less plastic waste because hardly anything is wrapped or packaged.
The Netherlands has been blessed with many great grocery stores offering a large variety of options. You can probably get away with cooking most of the food from your home country with the ingredients and products you can find in Dutch grocery stores. The same goes for snacks, you can probably get away with making the same – or at least similar – snacks as most ingredients will be available.
However, perhaps you can’t find the ingredients you want or need. Perhaps you want to experiment with Dutch food and teach the kids about Dutch culture. Or perhaps you are a Näppsitter taking the kids to the park and want to know what healthy, easy snacks to pack for them. Keep reading for some inspiring ideas!
Snacks – The Dutch Way
To-go Snack #1: Fruity
First and foremost, the Dutch LOVE fruit. Packing fruit to-go is probably one of the easiest snack to find and pack. Fruits are also extremely healthy, as they are a good source of vitamins and minerals and an excellent source of dietary fibre. On top of that, fruits are loved by kids as they can easily be disguised as candy with some creativity. Here’s a list of easy, healthy fruit snacks to pack on the go!
- Sliced fruits: Apples, pears, oranges, bananas (really anything you want here)
- Easy to pick: Strawberries, blueberries, grapes (no seeds!), raspberries, blackberries (spice these up by freezing them and dipping them in yoghurt! Or make fruit kebabs!)
- Vegetable mix: snack tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, baby carrots, baby peppers, baby corn (bring a little container of hummus or yoghurt dip to dip these in!)
- Smoothies: In must Dutch supermarkets you will find an abundance of freshly made and healthy smoothies. No need to blend it all up at home, if your kids crave a quick and easy snack on the go these are a great option packing loads of fruit and veg!
- “White chocolate”: Fill some dates with pumpkin (or peanut) butter and store these in the fridge overnight. It doesn’t sound believable but trust me, this tastes like white chocolate!
To-go Snack #2: Nuts and Seeds
Secondly, the Dutch love something small, crunchy, and savoury to nibble on. While you can just pack a bag of chips for the kids, the Netherlands offers healthier, yummier, and even easier options.
- Nuts – You can find an abundance of nuts in the Dutch supermarkets. Bring a mix of unsalted almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, pecan nuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and cashews! (Unsalted nuts are not only the healthier option, you can also spice them up and roast them yourself at home with the flavours you like best!
- Rice-waffles – Dutch kids are raised on rice-waffles! You can find many different flavours in the Dutch supermarkets – from plain to cheesy to chocolate covered. You can bring them plain or bring along toppings such as hummus, cucumber slices, nutbutters, jam, or those infamous Dutch chocolate sprinkles! (Yes…chocolate sprinkles are not the healthiest option, but there is lots of research to support the happiness of Dutch kids as a result of the Dutch way of parenting which encourages eating breakfast together – often including chocolate sprinkles).
- Seeds – You can find an abundance of different seeds to snack on, from sunflower to pumpkin! Roast and flavour these yourself at home and bring them along! Or in a mason jar, soak chia, hemp, and flax seeds in some almond, oat, or coconut milk and top with fruit and peanut butter for a healthy pudding-like snack! (the Albert Heijn has AH-brand nut-butters, these are actually a cheaper and healthier option than some of the branded ones as there is no added sugar – it’s just blended nuts!)
To-go Snack #3: Grains and Bars
Thirdly, the Dutch love their baked goods. You can find many different types of cookies at the Dutch grocery stores, but using some of the ingredients listed above you can make your own quick and easy oat/granola bars to bring on your trip! Kids tend to love these, as they often do taste like cookies but they’re full of energy and nutritional benefits to keep them happy and healthy!
- Granola bars: Before your trip, throw together some nuts of your choice (such as the ones listed above), steel cut oats, dried fruit, and perhaps some seeds of your choice, along with a liquid sweetener such as honey, maple syrup, or mashed banana. Either press these down tightly in a baking pan and bake in the oven until golden brown for granola bars, or crumble it on a baking sheet for granola to enjoy with yoghurt and fruit. Top the granola bars with peanut butter, dark chocolate, or leave them plain! This is a very tasty, easy, and variable snack to bring on the go!
- No-bake cookies: For a very tasty, energy and nutrition-packed snack, make this easy and quick treat! All you need is oats, nut-butter, and dark chocolate chips! Mix all the ingredients together and form into little balls. Press them down with a fork and store them in the fridge for the next day! (You can also melt the dark chocolate chips and dip the balls in!)
- Energy balls: These are such a variable snack, you can include any ingredient of your choice as long as it still includes dates, a nutbutter of sorts, and coconut flakes. Blend it all up and form little balls that the kids can snack on on the go!
To-go Snack #4: Schepsnoep
It wouldn’t be the Netherlands without “schepsnoep”. The Dutch enjoy a balance of both healthy and unhealthy snacks, and once in a while candy is allowed! In many Dutch supermarkets you will encounter “schepsnoep” – just fill a little bag with the candy of your choice and let the kids enjoy a few pieces throughout the day (of course steal some for yourself too!).
We hope this snack list has given you some ideas and inspiration for healthy and easy Dutch snacks to find and make for on the go! If you need more inspiration for kid-friendly recipes or more snacks, please visit our Pinterest board! But if you do find yourself having to visit a restaurant, we’ve got you’re back for that too!