Trying to eat locally and seasonally seems daunting when you are feeding the picky three-year-old or the perpetually famished 13-year-old. Even trying to explain it to them (and why they don’t get cereal for breakfast) seems tough enough, let alone trying to source, shop, prep and cook local meals for your family. I’m not going to lie, it’s way easier to get the same grocery items week after week, and avoid the extra effort and drama that variety brings.

But you and I both know why eating locally is important, both for our community and our family. The question is how you can still keep your children fed and happy, especially when they need an after school snack – five minutes ago. Is there local snack food?

Glad you asked. Here is a list of some of our favorite snacks that we can source locally and/or make at home. I have left out the obvious fresh fruit & vegetables, but you already know you can serve your kids carrot sticks.

Apple sauce

Baked apples or pears

Baked potatoes

Berries & whipped cream

Cheese & apples

Cheese & tomato jam

Dried apple rings

Edamame (soybeans, steamed & salted)

Fruit leather (peach is our favorite)

Hard boiled eggs (or deviled eggs if you can manage mayonnaise*)

Homemade crackers

Kale Chips

Mayo (oil, egg yolk, acid and salt. Oil and the acid would require exceptions or thoughtful sourcing)

Oven fries

Peaches and cream

Pickled cauliflower (fermented, takes well to any spice mix - my favorite is curry)

Pickled green beans (I ferment them in a salt/water brine, easier than cucumber pickles)

Popcorn (use lard or butter, plus salt and dried dill)

Popsicles (fruit, yogurt & honey)

Pumpkin custard (like the pie, but without a crust)

Pumpkin ice cream

Pumpkin seeds

Smoothies

Sunflower seeds

Yogurt with maple syrup, jam or honey

Raheli Harper