10 Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks for the Hectic Holiday Season

The hectic holiday season just got a whole lot healthier thanks to these 10 grab-and-go, nutrient-packed snacks. Our 10 good-for-your-family ideas feature our favorite new Chobani yogurt drink, lots of fruits and veggies, nuts, and muffins and bars made with whole grains. All provide the protein, fiber, and health-enhancing nutrients that we all need when we’re running in a million different directions.

Healthy snacks on the go w/ Drink Chobani via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

We created this blog post in partnership with Chobani and were compensated for our work. All opinions are our own.

1. Drink Chobani

Drink Chobani via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

Quench your thirst and fuel your body with Drink Chobani™. This new, smooth drinkable yogurt is filled with flavor and an impressive 14 grams of protein designed to keep you rejuvenated when you’re on the go. It’s available in four delicious flavors including Straw’Nana, Mix’t Berries, Mango, and Apple Veg and made with only natural, non-GMO ingredients and real fruit. Drink Chobani™ has a third less sugar than other yogurt drinks*. {*Drink Chobani™ beverage: 22g sugar; other adult yogurt drinks: average 33g sugar per 10 oz. serving.}

Drink Chobani via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

Each serving also contains 25% of your daily requirement for calcium.

Drink Chobani

2. Veggie Quiche Patties

Veggie Quiche Patties via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

Made with enriching eggs and a few handfuls of Swiss chard, these adorable portable savory snack bites are one of our favorite dashboard dining delights 🙂

3. Homemade Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

To say our Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are one of the most popular recipes on Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen would be an understatement. This recipe has been around since our first cookbook, The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers, was published in 2004. OK. Now we’re dating ourselves. Made with bananas, whole wheat flour, and other goodness, you’ll definitely want to cook up a batch this week.

4. Homemade Granola Bars

Our Grab-and-Go Granola Bars are made with whole grain oats, dried fruit, and walnuts, and they’re the perfect snack when you’re on the move. You can easily bake up a batch, freeze, and then nibble as needed.

5. Apple Nut Butter Sandwiches

Apple Nut Butter Sandwiches via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Slice a sweet, crisp apple into thin rounds (crosswise). Spread nut butter on top, sprinkle with a few raisins, and put two rounds together for a circular sandwich that’s perfectly packable.

6. Holiday Trail Mix

Made with oat squares cereal, unsweetened dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds, this festive trail mix is as easy to make as it is to eat. Pack along in zip-top bags when you’re craving something crunchy.

7. Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

The holidays go hand-in-hand with spiced nuts. The only problem is that most of the recipes out there call for lots of sugar. Our makeover is different because it calls for just a quarter cup of brown sugar. Enjoy each delicious, lusciously toasted walnut when you need something nourishing.

8. Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

The beauty of hard boiled eggs is their convenience. Now you can find them pre-made at the supermarket. But whether you make them yourself or buy them ready-to-eat, you’ll be getting 6 grams of high-quality protein every time you pop one of ’em into your mouth.

9. Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit is nature’s healthiest fast food. Stock your kitchen with  Clementines, bananas, apples, and grapes so they’re always at the ready.

10. Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups

Place a slice of deli turkey or ham and a slice of cheese on a plate or cutting board. Spread evenly with hummus, add a veggie down the middle—baby spinach, a green bean, or a bell pepper slice—and then hit the road running.

Tell us what you’re snacking on this holiday season.


Barely Banana Protein Pancakes + Rise & Shine Cookbook {Podcast Episode #296}

Over the years, we’ve made more batches of pancakes than we can remember. From pumpkin to blueberry to apple, fluffy pancakes are always greeted with a smile in our households. Now, thanks to these moist and mouthwatering Barely Banana Protein Pancakes (with 4 Little Ingredients), we have a new recipe to add to the mix.

Barely Banana Protein Pancakes via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #breakfast

On this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we welcome Katie Sullivan Morford to the show to dish about this recipe and her new cookbook, Rise & Shine: Better Breakfasts for Busy Mornings (Roost Books, 2016) and to talk about easy ways to boost the flavor, variety, and nutrition of your family’s morning meal.


Rise & Shine cookbook via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

The last thing any of us needs is a breakfast recipe that’s fussy. But after a good night’s sleep, the first thing we all need is nourishment, especially protein. Eating breakfast is good for your body weight, your grades (if you’re in school!), and certainly your mood. To the rescue is Katie’s new book, filled with 75 easy and interesting recipes. We have one copy of Rise & Shine between us, and right now we’re fighting for custody of the book 🙂

Rise & Shine cookbook via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #breakfast

We love the idea of adding veggies to breakfast and turning quesadillas into something kids would want to devour in the morning.

Rise & Shine cookbook via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #breakfast

And speaking of green, Katie’s green smoothie gets its sweetness naturally from pineapple, banana, and an orange, and we agree that even our kids would love it too.


When we tried Katie’s banana pancakes, we topped them with maple syrup, but you can certainly use homemade jam instead.

4.8 from 44 reviews
Barely Banana Protein Pancakes
The batter for these protein-packed, gluten-free, pint-sized pancakes gets whirled together in one fell swoop in a blender, which doubles as the perfect pouring vessel. They are smaller and thinner than typical pancakes—think silver dollars—with a mild banana flavor that favors a swipe of tangy jam over the traditional drizzle of maple syrup. They taste best when you cook them thoroughly; they are supremely moist, so it’s hard to overdo it. (Reprinted with permission from Roost Books)
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 40 silver-dollar pancakes; 3 or 4 servings
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1⅓ cups cottage cheese
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • Oil or butter for greasing the skillet
  • Favorite jam for serving
  1. Put the eggs, oats, cottage cheese, and banana into a blender. Blend until the oats are pulverized, the cottage cheese is blended, and the batter is smooth.
  2. Set a skillet over medium heat. Add about a teaspoon of oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Pour about 1 tablespoon of batter into the pan for each pancake, making as many as will fit without crowding. Cook until bubbles appear across the surface and the bottom is deeply brown.
  3. Use a spatula to flip the pancake and cook until firm to the touch, another 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot out of the pan with a thin layer of jam.

It’s Giveaway time – GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Win a free copy of Rise & Shine by Katie Sullivan Morford and a Ninja® Blender System with Auto-iQ™ Technology

What you’ll win:

Rise and Shine: A cookbook featuring 75 breakfast recipes that are entry-level-easy. The recipes are doable and delicious, and they’re tailor-made for busy families and their whirlwind mornings.
Ninja® Blender System with Auto-iQ™ Technology: A blender with pre-programmed settings with unique blending patterns that delivers smooth, consistent results, with no guesswork required. Available at all major retailers nationwide, starting at $249.99

TO ENTER post a comment here and tell us why you’d like to win the book and blender and/or your favorite family breakfast recipe. We will pick one winner at random on December 28, 2016. (U.S. only please)

We will enter you into the giveaway additional times if you …

> Tweet about the giveaway with a link back to this post.

> Share the giveaway news with your Facebook fans and friends with a link back to the post.

> Follow us on Pinterest.

 Follow The Meal Makeover Moms on Facebook and Twitter (@MealMakeovrMoms)

Please post an additional comment every time you do something extra.

Good luck!


Crunchy, Juicy Apple, Edamame and Chickpea Salad – An Easy Side Dish to Balance Your Plate

I created this recipe and post in partnership with Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate program. I was compensated for my work, and all opinions are solely my own.

This sweet and savory side salad comes together quickly even on busy school nights by combining canned chickpeas wi Read more

Peanut Date Snack Bars – For an After-School Snack

These Peanut Date Snack Bars are sweetened naturally with dates and just 3 tablespoons of honey, and thanks to the addition of peanuts, each bar has 6 grams of protein. Serve them as an after-school snack or a pick-me-up before sports practice.

Peanut Date Snack Bars via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack #dates #peanuts

Our bars are easy to pack, and they’re shelf stable. So they’re perfect for backpacks.

Peanut Date Snack Bars via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack #dates #peanuts

 If you or your kids are inclined to grab a sugary packaged snack bar as an afternoon snack, choose our homemade bars instead. Made with a few wholesome ingredients and minimal added sugar, they’re just as satisfying and a whole lot healthier.

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Sautéed Peaches with Walnuts, Coconut Yogurt, and Basil Za’atar Dust {The Recipe Redux}

This sliced peach dessert is sweet and nutritious, and the flavor combination of peaches, walnuts, coconut Greek yogurt, brown sugar, basil, and za’atar is unexpected yet seriously delightful. I drew inspiration for this summer dessert from Al’s Place, a restaurant in San Francisco where Chef Aaron London puts gorgeous, in-season produce on the pedestal it deserves.

Sautéed Peaches with Walnuts, Coconut Yogurt, and Basil Za'atar Dust via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #peach #dessert #TheRecipeRedux

{If you think the basil and za’atar are too out there for your kids, leave ’em out. The dessert will be just as luscious albeit a bit less intriguing.}

Sautéed Peaches with Walnuts, Coconut Yogurt, and Basil Za'atar Dust via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #peach #dessert #TheRecipeRedux

Gosh. Where to begin?

I’ve been a road warrior all summer.

Between work trips and fun getaways, I’ve been to Nantucket, New York, New Hampshire, Cleveland, DC, and as far west as Sacramento and San Francisco. Throughout my travels, I ate some terrific meals, but the most memorable by far was at Al’s Place, voted America’s Best New Restaurant last year by Bon Appetite. It was the chef’s dessert of slow roasted peach, basil/corn, candied za’atar, and coconut cream that took my breath away and my taste buds to a whole new level …

Al's Place San Francisco via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

… And it just so happens that the theme for this month’s Recipe Redux blogger cooking challenge was to cook up a healthy recipe inspired by an unforgettable meal enjoyed while traveling. There was no doubt in my mind that Chef London’s peach dessert was the perfect recipe for this assignment.

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Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad + Tomato Basil Salad with Mango {Garden-Fresh Recipes – Podcast Episode #290}

This fresh and flavorful summer salad is made with juicy peaches, luscious avocado, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and chopped chives. Serve it as a side dish with grilled fish or chicken or just eat it straight up with a spoon!

Tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast to hear all about this salad and many other delicious, garden-inspired recipes!

Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

The fresh peaches this summer have been more juicy and sweet than I can remember, so I’ve been adding them to my favorite breakfast combo of Greek yogurt and granola. Today, I decided to change things up by adding diced peaches to a summer salad. And since I also had a gorgeous tomato on my kitchen counter and a perfectly ripe Mexican mango (sent to me compliments of the Mango Board), I created a second salad with some fresh basil from my garden.

Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Fresh herbs via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

For garden-fresh recipes including Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad, Tomato Basil Salad with Mango, Beet Green Salad, and Spiralized Summer Squash and Pistachio Salad, tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast.

Fresh herbs via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

I love cutting basil into ribbons (a technique called, chiffonade), because kids get a kick out of the shape. You can also ask your kids to help you rip the basil into small pieces, and add it that way.

Tomato Mango Salad with Basil via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

My toss-together tomato salad is made with 1 diced tomato, a diced mango, basil ribbons, EVOO, lemon juice, and kosher salt and pepper.

My sister Amy is visiting me this week on Nantucket with her friends Miriam, George, and Mike. Mike runs the restaurants at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, so I invited him to join me on a Facebook LIVE demonstration of the salads. The internet connection was so bad that we ended up taping the segment instead. I hope you’ll watch the demo; it was Mike’s first time on TV!

Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

As someone who has worked in the restaurant industry for most of his career, Mike has seen a shift in kids’ palates and says they’re definitely becoming more adventurous eaters. And we agree that taking kids out to eat is a great way to introduce them to new tastes and textures.

Peach and Avocado Sunshine Salad
There's nothing better than biting into a fresh peach and having all those luscious, sweet juices drip down your chin! And now, there's nothing better than adding peaches to a fresh summer salad. Here, I combine them with creamy diced avocado, lemon zest and lemon juice, and chopped chives. If you love cilantro, add it too!
Recipe type: Side Dish
  • 2 ripe peaches, cut into ¾-inch dice
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and cut into ¾-inch dice
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Chopped chives, optional
  • Chopped cilantro, optional
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  1. Place the peaches, avocado, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil in a bowl and stir to combine. Add a few chopped chives and a few tablespoons of chopped or torn cilantro as desired, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

What are your favorite ways to eat peaches and mangos?

I created a third recipe this week using fresh beet greens.

Beets and beet greens via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Beet greens salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

After roasting and devouring a bunch of golden beets, I trimmed the beet greens the next day and sliced them into thin strips. I then used the greens in a salad with diced tomato, basil ribbons, diced avocado, diced mango, and a dressing made with lemon juice, lemon zest, EVOO, kosher salt, and black pepper. I topped the salad with nigella seeds.

Sunny Summer Panzanella Salad {Recipe Redux} – Inspired by Teaspoon of Spice Blog

Classic panzanella salad is made with tomatoes and chunks of stale (or toasted) bread. Other components include onion and fresh basil. I gave this  tasty Tuscan salad a new and even more nutritious fix by adding some extras including mozzarella cheese, paper-thin slices of English cucumber and radishes, juicy diced watermelon, and mint. I left the onions out since my kids don’t love ’em!

Sunny Summer Panzanella Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #salad #watermelon

Every month, we join other like-minded healthy food bloggers for The Recipe Redux cooking challenge. This month, we’re all celebrating ReDux’s 5th birthday by celebrating each other. For the challenge, were were asked to pick a fellow ReDuxer by going to their blog and either making one of their recipes or creating a recipe inspired by theirs.

Sunny Summer Panzanella Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

I chose a recipe for Portable Cherry Caprese Panzanella Salad, created by Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD. Deanna is a Philadelphia-based registered dietitian, food blogger, and co-founder of The Recipe Redux. She blogs with her dietitian partner, Serena Ball over at Teaspoon of Spice where you’ll find fast, healthy, family-pleasing recipes — the kind of food I like to make too. I discovered Deanna’s Portable Cherry Caprese Panzanella Salad when she featured it on one of her Facebook LIVE broadcasts. (If you haven’t seen any of Deanna’s Facebook LIVE broadcasts yet or her Healthy Kitchen Hacks, be sure to check them out.) I loved the panzanella-with-fruit idea so much that I decided to give classic panzanella salad my own unique spin by adding watermelon, cucumber, radishes, mint, and mozzarella. I’ve made this recipe two times in the past week, fed it to family and my interns (we have three nutrition students working with us right now!), and I plan to make it over the July 4th weekend as well.

Sunny Summer Panzanella Salad via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #salad #watermelon

This salad says summer to me. It’s juicy, crunchy, creamy, sweet, light, and refreshing. I served it as a main dish, but this salad could easily do double duty as a side dish.

For me, the watermelon and mint really make this salad special. You could also add blackberries or raspberries. Red onion or thin slices of green onions would also work really well in the mix.

Thanks for the inspiration Deanna!

Sunny Summer Panzanella Salad
I don't like to heat up my kitchen in the summer, which is why I turn to salads like this one. Plus, salads can be super nutritious. For my panzanella salad makeover, I use whole wheat bread versus white, add fresh mozzarella cheese for satisfying protein, and load up on the produce by going above and beyond the tomatoes, which you'd expect in a panzanella salad: English cucumber, radishes, watermelon, and mint.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 (Yield = 6½ cups)
  • 3 slices whole grain bread, cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 3 to 4 radishes, cut into thin rounds or half moons (3/4 cup)
  • ½ of an English cucumber, cut into thin half moons (1-1/3 cups)
  • ¾ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1½ cups cubed watermelon, (about ½-inch cubes)
  • 12 mint leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 12 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Place the bread cubes in a bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and stir until the bread is evenly coated with the oil. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes, until toasted and crispy. Stir every 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Place the cooled bread cubes on a large platter or in a large bowl. Add the cheese, radishes, cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon, mint, and basil and stir gently to combine. Drizzle with the remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil and the balsamic vinegar to taste. Stir gently to combine. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.

Check out all the other Recipe Redux creations this month!

Freekeh Lentil Salad with Chickpeas and California Avocado – A Pulse Pairing Recipe!

– 2016 is the International Year of Pulses and what better way to celebrate than with a pulse-pairing recipe featuring nutrient dense California Avocados, lentils, and chickpeas. This recipe is vegetarian and perfect as a main dish or side salad. 

Freekeh Lentil Salad with Chickpeas and California Avocado via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen #vegetarian #vegan

Lentils, chickpeas, dry beans, and dry peas are pulses. They are high in protein and fiber, inexpensive, and they contain important nutrients like iron, potassium and folate. The United Nations declared 2016 the “International Year of Pulses” (IYP) to raise awareness about the health, nutrition and sustainability of this humble plant-based food group and to celebrate the role of beans, chickpeas, lentils and other pulses in feeding the world.

Avocados pair perfectly with pulses, because together, they provide a mouth-watering symphony of flavors, textures, and nutrients. In this vegetarian recipe for Freekeh Lentil Salad with Chickpeas and California Avocado, the hearty, earthy pulses compliment the creamy, indulgent flavor of the avocados. Together in this scrumptious salad, they provide an impressive 9 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, and 20% iron per serving.

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Avocado Key Lime Pie Smoothie Bowl

If you love bowl meals as much as we do, then breakfast is the perfect time of day to satisfy your craving … with a smoothie bowl.

For this Avocado Key Lime Pie Smoothie Bowl, we took Key Lime Pie and turned it from a decadent dessert into a spoonable drink. Vanilla yogurt and agave add a subtle sweetness to the bowl, and nutrient-dense California Avocado provides a pretty green color as well as good-for-you monounsaturated fats and nearly 20 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

Avocado Key Lime Pie Smoothie Bowl via The Meal Makeover Moms

This smoothie bowl can do double duty as a snack … or triple duty as a dessert.

Disclosure: We created this recipe for the California Avocado Commission. We were compensated for our work, and all opinions are solely our own. For the full recipe head on over to The Scoop blog at CaliforniaAvocado.com

Avocado Key Lime Pie Smoothie Bowl via The Meal Makeover Moms

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a shift from saturated fats in the diet to mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Our avocado smoothie bowl meets that goal. The guidelines also emphasize a more nutrient-dense, plant-based style of eating, which once again, pairs up perfectly with our avocado smoothie bowl.


Tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio to hear all about this recipe as well as our recipe for Freekeh Lentil Salad with Chickpeas and California Avocado.

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