Filling up Hungry Bellies

Our children have wonderful appetites, they are always hungry.  One way that I have learned to deal with the hunger without killing our food budget is to have inexpensive snacks available to them during the day. Until recently this has generally been carrots and apples.  Recently I began cooking beans for the children to snack on during the day or even to eat with our evening meal.

Beans are healthy and inexpensive, especially if purchased in bulk. If you serve beans with a whole grain like bread or browns rice, they provide a complete protein and beans are very filling.

As part of our children’s table chores in the evening one of them puts beans in a pot and covers them with water to soak overnight. The next morning I rinse, drain, add an onion (or not) and more water and start them cooking. Then if the children are hungry between meals and snack time, they are welcome to have some beans.  I will often have bread and/or rice available also.

They are supposed to clean up after they help themselves, but we are still working on that part of the equation.

What do your children snack on?

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53 Responses to Filling up Hungry Bellies
  1. Stevana
    September 21, 2010 | 8:34 am

    I try to do fruits and veggies as snacks for my 2 daughters ages 2 and 4 for the majority of time or whole grain cereal. I have been putting beans through the food processer adding a little garlic, olive oil and cumin and making hummus for them as well. We are just getting our feet wet with the beans; my 2yr old eats and trys everything where my 4yr old dont like to try anything unless she can dip it in ranch dressing, but I’m a bean lover so I am hoping to get them to eat them as well because they provide the protein and fiber. I also have tried giving them a hard boiled egg for a snack. My kids have huge appetites right now and I am always on the look out snack ideas

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    Jaime Lynn Braden Reply:

    Would you mind sending me your hummus recipe? jmelynnou@sbcglobal.net

    [Reply]

    Jaime Lynn Braden Reply:

    Please share your hummus recipe! jmelynnOU@sbcglobal.net

    [Reply]

    Stevana Reply:

    Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. My hummus recipe is just very simple. I tend to just use what I have on hand. Here is what I do:
    1can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas, I also heard you can use cannellini beans)
    1-2 garlic minced.
    about tsp to tbls of cumin
    little lemon juice if you have it.
    Then as its processing I add olive oil to get the consistency I like.
    I am horrible about using measurements I usually just put the beans in the machine, add some olive oil, few shakes of cumin, squirt or two of lemon juice, if I dont have fresh garlic I use minced in jar or add garlic powder. Use whatever you have. You can always adjust to your taste. Sorry I’m not the best at writting out recipes. Hope its ok to understand.

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    Allie Zirkle Reply:

    I love this hummus recipe:
    http://economicaleats.blogspot.com/search?q=hummus

    I cook garbanzo beans from scratch and allow to cool. I then double the recipe, reduce the lemon juice and make sure to salt (because dry beans need salt).

    Allie

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  2. Hannah
    September 21, 2010 | 8:42 am

    I love the idea, but one thing to consider is that some legumes can be toxic if not fully cooked.

    For example, kidney beans should never be consumed partially cooked (ie crockpot) http://www.foodreference.com/html/artredkidneybeanpoisoning.html

    One way I prevent this is to have the beans that were cooked on the previous day.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks for the link and info Hannah.

    [Reply]

  3. Amanda
    September 21, 2010 | 8:45 am

    As you mentioned carrots and apples, and we also do cheese or cheese sticks, bananas, grapes if they are on sale (I wash a whole bunch and keep them on the counter). I wrote a post about it awhile back and we still do those snacks as well. http://betterislittle.com/homeschool-memoirs-7-snack-foods/

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  4. Tristan
    September 21, 2010 | 8:57 am

    fruits, veggies, pretzels

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  5. Renee
    September 21, 2010 | 9:10 am

    LOL our kids are always hungry too! Beans sounds like a wonderful idea, they love them!

    We snack on bread, bananas an cheese ( my husband is a backer so we have lots of bread in the house at all time) Also we raise chicken so eggs are a nice quick snack too. (you could boiled them in advance)

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  6. Shannon
    September 21, 2010 | 9:24 am

    Brilliant!!!!!

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  7. Elizabeth
    September 21, 2010 | 9:28 am

    Fruits and veggies,homemade popcorn, pretzels, and a veriety of crackers. I love the bean idea. We have tried different beans at meals but most want nothing to do with them. :-(

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  8. Alisha
    September 21, 2010 | 9:41 am

    Fruit, bananas are especially filling, but I only go grocery shopping once a week, so these only end up lasting us a few days. Carrots. We love carrots with hummus (homemade of course!) I can’t really imagine snacking on plain beans, but kids might like that. I prefer bean dips. And my kids like yogurt for snacks, but I know that gets expensive.

    [Reply]

    Jaime Lynn Braden Reply:

    Could I please get the recipe for your hummus? jmelynnOU@sbcglobal.net

    [Reply]

  9. Christin
    September 21, 2010 | 10:30 am

    I wish my children would eat beans!! They have protein in them which helps keep the belly full longer!

    Instead, I’ve taken time out to make bread products such as muffins with fruit. It’s much cheaper for me to make it myself (and healthier!)

    Another good idea (which I myself haven’t even implemented yet), would be deviled (or just hard-boiled) eggs. Yum!

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  10. Courtney
    September 21, 2010 | 10:47 am

    How do you serve the beans? Just hand them a bowl and spoon? We do a lot of hummus, homemade bread, and all sorts of fruits and vegetables. I hate spending money on things like crackers and cereal. Our dehydrator is great for fruit leather as well as dried fruits.

    [Reply]

    Jaime Lynn Braden Reply:

    Would you email me your hummus recipe? I got a recipe off the internet a few months back but it was not good. Thank you!

    jmelynnOU@sbcglobal.net

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Yes, with a bowl and a spoon. :)

    [Reply]

  11. Kathi
    September 21, 2010 | 12:30 pm

    .cheese – we buy blocks from Sam’s, and I cut it up into cubes
    .grahm crackers – also from Sam’s, although I’m going to try Pioneer Woman’s gluten free recipe soon (sometimes with Peanutbutter on them, yum…like the PB/Oatmeal Girl Scout cookies)
    .pretzels – also from Sam’s (in a nice re-usable tub)
    .yogurt – we get the big YoPlait tubs at WalMart, they equal 6 servings, by our standards…and I eat an Activia
    .animal crackers – unnecessary, but loved by all (also in a nice re-usable tub:)

    P.S. Elise Hooper @ A Path Made Straight has a WONDERFUL snack list, she calls it The List, and shares some of her recipes…I’m striving for something similar.

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  12. Stephanie
    September 21, 2010 | 12:35 pm

    D loves apples, bananas, broccoli, yogurt and crackers. I like the bean idea, we recently started serving our beans with chives and it has been a huge hit!

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  13. Deb
    September 21, 2010 | 1:01 pm

    Dude, now I am completely freaked out about kidney beans…

    I usually try to get them to drink milk as a snack, but sometimes they get cheese or a baggie of cheerios or even goldfish crackers. They don’t really snack that much anymore though.

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  14. Jenn
    September 21, 2010 | 1:29 pm

    My kids eat candy, pop, toaster strudels….no just kidding. My kiddos eat pretty healthy but I’m not sure they would help themselves to beans. Do you serve them plain? Or do they put toppings on them?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We generally serve them plain. One of my purposes in having beans available as a snack is to have something healthy for the children to eat if they are hungry, but to not tempt them to eat if they aren’t.

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  15. Sue
    September 21, 2010 | 1:30 pm

    My kids don’t snack too much between meals. If they do, they have bananas,apples,cheese sticks, popcorn, nuts, veggies with ranch dressing (for dipping). Right now they are making smoothies in the blender. They are making a mango & banana smoothie. We take fruit, skim milk or yogurt, ice, and stevia. Blend it all and pour in into cups and they drink it with a straw. This summer we bought plastic popsicle holders, to make our own popsicles. We just poured the smoothie into the popsicle containers, and froze them. The kids love them!

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  16. Esther
    September 21, 2010 | 2:15 pm

    Smoothies and popsicles are the most common snack. Usually I make extra smoothie and pour what I want into my mug then pour the extra into ice cube trays, add a stick to each cube, and freeze for the rest of the family to enjoy as popsicles. Once frozen I keep them in a large ziploc bag and each person gets to choose the flavor they want from the various flavors of leftover smoothies.

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    Karrie Ann Reply:

    Brilliant.

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  17. Jenny
    September 21, 2010 | 3:42 pm

    U are sooo creative! I never think of stuff like that…I try to have carrots, apples, bananas, raisins….sometimes they have a granola bar and sometimes they just grab from the candy jar tho they aren’t supposed to without asking!

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  18. jane
    September 21, 2010 | 3:58 pm

    Some of our children are on the chubby side so we actually do not do alot of snacks but have them eat at mealtime. We are a missionary family in Guatemala and I thought you would love my black bean recipe, black beans are very popular here and easier to digest than other beans.
    In crockppot:
    Place 2 cups of dried black beans
    Aprox, 6-8 cups of water, depending on how hot your crockpot cooks, experiment with this.
    1 Tablespoon of vinegar (important)
    1 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. chicken boullion
    a little thyme, bacon salt, onion powder or your other favorite seasonings.
    a dash of oil

    Cook on high overnight. For breakfast we puree them in the blender to eat with our eggs.
    Enjoy……and I love reading your blog!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you so much. I’m always on the lookout for simple, inexpensive, yummy recipes and this sounds wonderful.

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  19. MomStarr
    September 21, 2010 | 4:51 pm

    B E A N S!!!!!???????? ARE YOU KIDDING? WHAT KIND OF A SNACK IS THAT? I THOUGHT SNACKS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE FUN….. JUST KIDDING KIMBERLY!! :)
    If my kids came to me and said hey mom can I have a snack and I said sure here is some beans,enjoy! They would look at me like I had two heads!! We are doing good to get them all to eat their beans at dinner time. Some like them fine and a couple do NOT!! We mostly snack on fruit and bread and cheese (for those who can have it). I would like to have a good hummus recipe – I noticed someone asking for that. We do enjoy hummus and crackers! We try to eat healthy but are not perfect!

    [Reply]

    Stevana Reply:

    I added my recipe up top, its simple. I’m just not the best at writing recipes out so if you have any questions please ask.

    [Reply]

  20. Racheal
    September 21, 2010 | 6:10 pm

    My boys love to eat hard boiled eggs for snacks I make about 5 dozen egggs a week and just put them in the fridge so when hunger strikes they can just peel an egg.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We also use hard boiled eggs as a snack. It’s another good, protein-filled option. I’ve never done them ahead of time like that though. That would make it easier.

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    Michelle Reply:

    We also hard boil eggs about 2 dz or more, and put them in the fridge. Be sure to mark the carton or put them into a different container. We’ve had some oops moments when some littles grabbed Not Boiled eggs by accident. LOL

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  21. Nikki
    September 21, 2010 | 6:13 pm

    My three kids like to snack on grapes, apples, bananas, and other fruits. We also bake a lot of bread, and I make granola, granola bars, salsa, and such. I really like your idea of letting them eat beans when they are hungry. I will have to try that one! Thanks!

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  22. Jennifer Lavender
    September 21, 2010 | 6:35 pm

    I never would have thought to serve beans as a snack. Great idea! Do you or your kids have any varieties that are preferred over others?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Black beans are our favorite, with pinto beans next.

    [Reply]

  23. Teresa
    September 21, 2010 | 7:40 pm

    my favorite snack growing up was “ants on a log”. Celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins. My mom also used to make us “gorp”–raisins, peanuts, sunflower seeds, etc… I have a 1 yr old and 4 yr old so I’m still figuring the snack thing out, but we try to do lots of fruit, cheese and sometimes crackers.

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  24. Jessica Hilliker
    September 21, 2010 | 9:25 pm

    We are definitely a smoothie family! I used to work for Jamba Juice in grad school, so I know all kinds of recipes :) Even my 10 month old loves them–the easiest is: a ripe banana, OJ or pineapple or cranberry juice, froz. strawberies+raspberries+blueberries (freeze after picking or when on sale), maybe a little mango and some yogurt or kefir–yum!! I will make a whole batch and keep them in the fridge in cup for the week–my kids love them melted down but cold like that, too.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Mmmm! We rarely do smoothies for snack time, but do have them for breakfast once a week. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    I killed my kefir grains while I was pregnant with Isabella, but am hoping to acquire some more when we get back from our vacation in the next few weeks.

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  25. Amanda
    September 21, 2010 | 10:38 pm

    Believe it or not my kids’ favorite snack food is mini pepperonis!!!

    [Reply]

  26. Sue
    September 21, 2010 | 11:36 pm

    I have a question about beans. What kind do your kids like, and do you add anything to them for flavor?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I add some garlic and/or onion and salt, but keep them fairly plain.

    [Reply]

  27. CookieMonsterKatrina
    September 22, 2010 | 7:20 am

    I simply cannot let my children have snacks that I have not doled out. When I do, they will fill up on that snack and do not eat meals. Of course, my kids are just six, four, and toddler.

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    CookieMonsterKatrina Reply:

    Oh, but I meant to say first that the beans on the back burner thing is a brilliant idea. I read about it recently in a magazine or something and my first thought was that I bet my aunt – whose house was full of boys – could have used that tip. Those boys were NEVER full!

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  28. Elizabeth
    September 22, 2010 | 8:41 am

    Well, I don’t know how to say this delicately . . . but I have a house full of boys, and I have found that beans and boys are not a good combination!!!!! ;)

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  29. shannon
    September 22, 2010 | 10:22 am

    We’ve recently begun eating lots more beans and less meat. My son wasn’t too thrilled until someone mentioned to him if he ate lots of beans his… bathroom experience… would be big. Oh goodness! Exactly what a 5 year old needed to hear to get excited about eating beans. :) Not the tactic I would have used but it worked.

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  30. Stephanie
    September 22, 2010 | 4:11 pm

    I am going to get some beans soaking, thanks for encouraging me :)

    [Reply]

  31. sillygeese
    September 22, 2010 | 7:47 pm

    My girls like yogurt, cereal bars like kashi(sometimes I can get them super cheap)or pretzels, but they have to ask first,they can free graze on carrots all they want, in fact sometimes they are still starving after all of dinner is gone, my standard response is you can eat carrots until you are full, I don’t do desert and sometimes they are just fishing for treats.

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  32. MsTamiG
    September 23, 2010 | 1:56 am

    My kids are big veggie eaters, especially with all the produce from our garden! I also have found that high protein breakfasts tend to stick with them longer. Boiled eggs made ahead make great snacks, so do deviled eggs! For those with kids who like dip, try peanut butter with apples, carrot, celery, cracker etc. Yummy :~) ~by the way… I love your blog!

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  33. Mommaofmany
    October 4, 2010 | 9:40 pm

    My children need fewer snacks since we started eating whole foods. Hearty oatmeal, roman meal, eggs, etc for breakfast lasts so much longer than the cereal I served years ago! They appreciate a good snack as much as the next kid, though! We use hard-boiled eggs, fruit and veggies, popcorn, smoothies and most of the other snacks mentioned. One I haven’t heard is jerky! We love having homemade msg-free jerky to snack on!

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  34. Michelle
    October 12, 2010 | 12:48 pm

    Things we snack on. Deer trail bolgna and summer deer sausage, apples, pbj sandwiches, crackers, occasional cookies, homemade deer jerky, leftovers, hard boiled eggs from the hens, vegetables from the garden (in season),and hot cocoa.

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  35. heather
    January 19, 2012 | 9:51 am

    Not sure if I could get my kids to eat beans as snacks maybe if I made them into a dip. A friend metioned that she used a can of black beans purred liquid and all as the replacement for eggs and oil in her 9×13 pan of brownies. Not sure how much that would be for dried cooked beans. When I do cook dried beans for soup or cassoral instead of soaking them overnight I just through them in my pressure cooker and it works great to cook them up fast.

    [Reply]

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