Kids get excited if they know I’m bringing this snack.
So many times I’ve signed up to bring snacks to my kid’s various meetings or school class parties. When I put my name down it seems feasible, but when the day of the event sneaks up on me, I come up short for ideas…and time. Oh, the dread of snack duty!
Then I came across a combo that’s the holy grail of kids’ snacks. Every time I bring it to a gathering, kids are excited and ask for it again. There aren’t many leftovers. It’s nourishing, easy, affordable, and appealing.
And, most importantly, I can get everything I need to pull it off in one stop: ALDI.
Why This ALDI Snack Works
The snack itself is incredibly simple. Ready? It’s cheese cubes, mini pretzels, and apple slices.
A snack that’s a three-parter has something for everyone. Most kids are bound to like at least one or two items on the tray (and I noticed no kids have complained about having a snack of only cheese or only pretzels).
There’s protein, fresh fruit, and salty carbs. Everything that growing kids need. All three components I can grab in a single trip to ALDI, which is always on my errand route.
Cheese cubes: ALDI sells cubed cheese in eight-ounce packages in two varieties: Cheddar or Colby Jack. With this snack combo, get two bags to feed 12 kids. One bag cost $2.09 at my local store.
Mini pretzels: I get the 16-ounce bag of Clancy’s pretzel sticks or minis. The smaller size of the pretzels simply feels more snackable. One bag ($1.98) is plenty for 12 kids.
Apple slices: This is the one thing you need to prep. I get a 3-pound bag of a crisp yet sweet variety such as Gala (currently $3.39 at my store). Galas also have the advantage of not browning as easily. I core and cut about six of them right before the snack, and—if I’m able—do it right then and there (there was kitchen access at the Girl Scout meeting site). If that’s not possible for you, try this trick of soaking the sliced apples in salted water. It’ll keep them from browning much at all for up to three hours. When it’s time to drop off your snack, drain the apple slices, pat them dry with paper towels, and set them on a platter.
How To Serve This Snack
To serve it, I keep the cheese and the pretzels in their bags until I am at the gathering. Then, when I drop off the snack, I open up the bags and dump each on a tray. Dollar General has large disposable plastic trays in various configurations, and I like to keep those on hand for such instances. Some of the trays are divided, and those work well for this snack.
As I said before, I usually slice the apples on site, but you can do this a little bit earlier and keep them in a bag for easy transport.
Speaking of Dollar Tree, it’s my go-to for all kid party and event supplies. They have good-quality packs of napkins in different sizes and colors. I have a plastic tub in my basement that’s a lifesaver when I need to take a snack or treat to an event on the fly.
Of course, ALDI has cheap napkins, too. You can grab a 250-pack of their basic napkins, count out about as many as you need, put them in a zip-top bag to go with the snack, and then use the rest of the napkins at home.
My daughter is old enough now that she and her peers can fend for themselves. Parent-provided snacks are no longer automatically a part of every single dang meeting, practice, or class party. I don’t miss the inconvenience of snack duty, but I do miss the connectivity it brought me.
I liked the quick interactions with her teachers or troop leaders, plus the other parents. It makes me nostalgic for those magical elementary school years, but I can still enjoy that magical snack combo. Next time I’m shopping at ALDI in a rush after work, I’m going to break out the apples, pretzels, and cheese cubes combo and lavish in a comforting snack for dinner with my kid.
Read the original article on Simply Recipes.