Frugal snacks for oodles of kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 53 Old 07-13-2010, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey all . .

We often have many kids at our house, particularly during the summer months, playing for extended periods of time, and of course, eating. I'm interested in knowing your ideas for frugal snacking. We usually have a cut-up watermelon, make our own popsicles, and often pop popcorn.

What other cheap and easy (and relatively healthy) ideas do you have? I'm also looking for simplicity and don't want to be baking cookies in this heat.

TIA!

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#2 of 53 Old 07-13-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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4 kids under 10
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#3 of 53 Old 07-13-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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I'm stalking this thread too. Lots of unexpected things came up this month so we're tight!

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#4 of 53 Old 07-13-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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popcorn and water. if they want more they can go home at snack time.
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#5 of 53 Old 07-13-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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popcorn and water. if they want more they can go home at snack time.
Haha. Love it. Or send your kids over there. That'll save tons.

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#6 of 53 Old 07-13-2010, 10:14 PM
 
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My own three kids are eating me out of house and home this summer. Can't imagine what I'd do if I was responsible for feeding other people's kids too! Eek!
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#7 of 53 Old 07-13-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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Hard boiled eggs? Carrot and celery sticks (stick some peanut butter in the celery, yum) Maybe peanuts in the shell - that might keep them busy for a while. How about rice krispie treats? I think I remember that they don't need to bake. I generally resort to popcorn, but don't forget you can flavor the popcorn as well for variety. If you make the snacks too good, they won't ever want to leave!!!

I am on an e-mail list and this recipe for microwave baked bread came through and the writer, whom I am inclined to trust, said it was pretty good. Have not tried it yet myself:

Bread For When It's just Too Hot to Bake

1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cups all-purpose flour
Cover a wooden cutting board or a flat, microwave-safe tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl or bowl of mixer, dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, sugar, salt, soda and 1 cup whole wheat flour; beat well. Beat in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth -- or, as I did, use the dough hook in a stand mixer for the whole operation. Place in a greased bowl -- I just use PAM -- and spray the top of the dough as well. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until double, about an hour, maybe a litle more. Punch down.

Form into four round loaves, and place on the parchment paper. Cover and let rise again for half an hour.

Microwave on high for 4 to 6 minutes, until top is no longer moist -- check it at 4 minutes, as a lot can happen in the course of a minute in a microwave. Let stand for 5 minutes in pan. Remove and cool on a rack. Yum.
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#8 of 53 Old 07-13-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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Baby carrots are pretty inexpensive. My kids like them with ranch dressing "dip".

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#9 of 53 Old 07-13-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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i buy bulk 10lb bags of carrots and peel and cut as many as will fit in my giant tupperware(about half the bag). celery would be good but my kids don't like it.

apples sliced thin so it looks like there's more.

homemade popcorn

cheese crisp on cheap corn tortillas

home made popsicles

plain rice or corn chex mixed with the honey flavor for cracker like snacks(we're gluten free)
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#10 of 53 Old 07-14-2010, 03:47 AM
 
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These are more hearty snacks but...

Make giant quesadillas with large tortillas and cheese. Cut into triangles. Yum.

Frozen grapes.

Banana walnut bread

If you know how to make Lumpia that is something that can be pretty cheap and you can freeze it.


Graham crackers
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#11 of 53 Old 07-14-2010, 09:26 AM
 
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Raisins, peanut butter and rice cakes

Bananas, sliced and added to homemade granola

Muffins

Bread with honey, sunflower seeds

Yogurt and fruit (we don't do organic yogurt but do buy the vanilla over plain)

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#12 of 53 Old 07-14-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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Ha! I frequently (as in almost every day for several hours) have all our neighbor kids over. There are 4 of 'em, stair-stepped, plus my 3, plus 2 other friends little ones, plus 2 more kids from down the road, lol. They all LOVE to eat at our house. I'm that mom who feeds everyone.

I buy yogurt in big containers when I am not on a yogurt or kefir-making kick. I make home made granola to sprinkle on top.

Fresh veggies cut up. We have lots in our garden right now. They all love the cherry tomatoes, too.

Cut up fruit--our peach trees have gone nuts this year, plus our grapes. Otherwise, I have canteloupes and watermelons. I also frequently serve frozen berries (I get a really good co op deal for 14# boxes of them).

String cheese and crackers or popcorn.

muffins or cookies

peanuts or almonds in the shell (yes, keeps 'em busy!)

boiled or deviled eggs (we have lots of chickens)

pickled quail eggs

dill pickles or home made zucchini pickles

quesadillas using leftover bits of meat or beans and cheese

egg rolls (I'll have to check out the Lumpia wrappers-how are they different?) or spring rolls

home made bread and butter

home made popsicles (I have like 50 molds)

During the week, they are allowed 2 small, or one larger snack. Weekends, the limit is 2 snacks, unless I have prepared something special. After their limit, they must go home to eat! And I send all my kids over next door at least 3 times a week and tell them to eat there!

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#13 of 53 Old 07-14-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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Nuts in the shell-takes them longer so they last forever.

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#14 of 53 Old 07-15-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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nut/sunflower seeds in the shell
carrots (get the whole ones, not the baby carrots. let the kids peel them themselves. I always serve these without dip. If they are actually hungry these will be good enough)
peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches. I usually make three sandwhiches for four kids. cut into triangles or squares.
bananas
banana bread (you can make it ahead and freeze it) or other quick bread or muffins
apple sauce
home made pudding (from a box....)
popcicles homemade or storebought are still pretty cheap or mr freezies (ok these are not healthy....)
apple slices (usually one apple is enough for two kids)
crackers
amimal cookies
celery sticks with pb
raisins
any sale fruit or veggie
cheese if it is on sale (ours goes down to $2 a pound and you can stock up.)
pretzels
you can roll all kinds of things into a tortilla and slice it into wheels.



the thing to remember about a snack is that it is a snack. not a meal. you don't need to offer a ton of food. about 100 calories. thats not much. be sure they are drinking plenty of water. t his will help fill them up and provide vital hydration.

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#15 of 53 Old 07-15-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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Where the heck do you get cheese that cheap?! Mine is 9.50 for 900 grams!

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#16 of 53 Old 07-15-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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Usually I just feed the neighbor kids popsicles.

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#17 of 53 Old 07-15-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
Nuts in the shell-takes them longer so they last forever.
Very clever!

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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
the thing to remember about a snack is that it is a snack. not a meal. you don't need to offer a ton of food. about 100 calories. thats not much. be sure they are drinking plenty of water. t his will help fill them up and provide vital hydration.
I remind my kids that a snack is not a meal all the time.

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#18 of 53 Old 07-15-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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I make what I call water spritzers. Its basically a big pitcher or water with a bunch of cut up fruit, any kind you have. I let it sit overnight in the fridge. Its pretty cheap since you dont have to add too much fruit plus its like that new flavored water they have out but dosent have all the perservatives and flavorings/colorings.

some of our family favorites:

cucumber/lemon/water
orange citrus water
stawberry/blueberry/blackberry
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#19 of 53 Old 07-15-2010, 10:22 PM
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Nuts in the shell-takes them longer so they last forever.
as long as no one is allergic!

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#20 of 53 Old 07-16-2010, 04:21 AM
 
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You feed the neighbor kids?? That really only happens around here if someone is running a daycare or the moms all take turns....

If someone is hungry they can run home, get a snack and come right back.

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#21 of 53 Old 07-16-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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I'd just stick out a big gallon jug of cold water with some cups. Help yourselves! If I were feeling really generous, I'd buy the popcicles in the little plastic tubes. Those are super, super cheap. I agree with the others, they can go home for snacks!
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#22 of 53 Old 07-16-2010, 07:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by luv-my-boys View Post
I make what I call water spritzers. Its basically a big pitcher or water with a bunch of cut up fruit, any kind you have. I let it sit overnight in the fridge. Its pretty cheap since you dont have to add too much fruit plus its like that new flavored water they have out but dosent have all the perservatives and flavorings/colorings.

some of our family favorites:

cucumber/lemon/water
orange citrus water
stawberry/blueberry/blackberry
LOVE this idea! Thanks! And I just happened to open my new issue of "Mothering" and see that there is an article about home made soda in there. I'll have to be sure to read that now!

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You feed the neighbor kids?? That really only happens around here if someone is running a daycare or the moms all take turns....

If someone is hungry they can run home, get a snack and come right back.
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I'd just stick out a big gallon jug of cold water with some cups. Help yourselves! If I were feeling really generous, I'd buy the popcicles in the little plastic tubes. Those are super, super cheap. I agree with the others, they can go home for snacks!
I am wondering why someone would have children over and NOT feed them? I'm just curious if it's a financial issue, or something else? Kids play and get hungry and thirsty and it's always fun to eat at someone else's house. My kids sure get hungry! I would think it rude to not offer a guest something--just like I do when I have a friend of my own over. There are some things, though, that I wouldn't feed my own kids (or at least not often), so why would I feed them to the neighbor kids?

There is, however, a limit at our house, as mentioned earlier. They can't just come over here like a herd of grasshoppers and clean us out, lol. ('cause they would!)

We are also very fortunate to come by our food the way we do. We have plenty to share. We raise alot of our own food, and forage for a ton of stuff, too. I also get free raw goat milk from across the road since they have so much. I figure it goes around, yk? We live in a community where we often share, get together at one of our houses and have pot lucks, etc...Maybe there's just a different sense of helping and togetherness here.

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#23 of 53 Old 07-16-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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4 kids under 10
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#24 of 53 Old 07-17-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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I gave my daughter's friends snacks only if she happened to be hungry at the time they were at my house. Then it was some crackers or cookies. And water or koolaide. They all seemed happy with that and went right back to playing.
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#25 of 53 Old 07-17-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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I gave my daughter's friends snacks only if she happened to be hungry at the time they were at my house. Then it was some crackers or cookies. And water or koolaide. They all seemed happy with that and went right back to playing.
Yeah, see my kids are ALWAYS hungry, lol. (they are tall for their ages)

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#26 of 53 Old 07-17-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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I think people are talking about two different "feeding the kids" situations on this thread.

1. Kids have been specifically invited over to play. Of course you give them a snack.

2. Neighborhood kids playing on the block happen to end up at your house, not invited and everyone ends up playing together. No big deal, but I don't think this situation carries quite the same sense of obligation to feed them snacks as a pre-arranged visit.

I got the impression that the OP was dealing with situation #2.
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#27 of 53 Old 07-17-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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I think people are talking about two different "feeding the kids" situations on this thread.

1. Kids have been specifically invited over to play. Of course you give them a snack.

2. Neighborhood kids playing on the block happen to end up at your house, not invited and everyone ends up playing together. No big deal, but I don't think this situation carries quite the same sense of obligation to feed them snacks as a pre-arranged visit.

I got the impression that the OP was dealing with situation #2.
See, in our community, no one has to be invited. It's kind of an open door thing w/the neighbors. It's just a given that in the afternoons during the school year, on the weekends, or in the summer they will be here or mine will be there.

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#28 of 53 Old 07-17-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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See, in our community, no one has to be invited. It's kind of an open door thing w/the neighbors. It's just a given that in the afternoons during the school year, on the weekends, or in the summer they will be here or mine will be there.
Oh, I agree. No one has to be invited in our community, either. But there is a difference between kids that just show up - that is, who are technically under the care of their own parents, even though they have wandered over to your house - and a situation where you have invited someone over for a specified length of time, whether that's a sleepover, an afternoon, or something else. Maybe this kid is not from the neighborhood, whatever. In that situation, I'm responsible for the child, which includes food. For a kid who has just wandered over to my yard, sure I might hand out a snack, and I have. But I don't feel the same obligation to as I do in the first situation.
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#29 of 53 Old 07-17-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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we do pretzels, animal crackers (I get the big thing from BJ's), goldfish, crackers and cheese, popcorn, popsicles if they are outside, bananna bread, fruit or veggies, toast with peanut butter, half a pb and j sandwich, grahm crackers, pretty much whatever we have on hand. I will feel kids that are over even if they are just from next door. I really don't mind and that was just what we did growing up. If we wanted a snack there better be enough for everyone or you didn't take something outside or eat in front of them. I Now if it was something where the same kid was coming over EVERY day and I was feeding them more then their parents were that might be another story. However for the most part I do not mind.

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#30 of 53 Old 07-17-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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Oh, I agree. No one has to be invited in our community, either. But there is a difference between kids that just show up - that is, who are technically under the care of their own parents, even though they have wandered over to your house - and a situation where you have invited someone over for a specified length of time, whether that's a sleepover, an afternoon, or something else. Maybe this kid is not from the neighborhood, whatever. In that situation, I'm responsible for the child, which includes food. For a kid who has just wandered over to my yard, sure I might hand out a snack, and I have. But I don't feel the same obligation to as I do in the first situation.
To me, though, it's all the same. It just doesn't ever feel like an obligation to me, in any situation. I dunno, I guess it's a fine line, because I believe in having good manners, and not offering something to someone else is bad manners, imo. So maybe it is an obligation, just not one I feel differently about one way or the other. It's more like 2nd nature to me, I suppose, and I thank my mother for teaching me good manners. Maybe it just boils down to my being a natural caregiver. I hope that made some sort of sense, lol. I've been outside cleaning the pool and it is over 100 F here. My brain must be hot, lol.

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