Keto and Primal Snacks for Busy Mom Life

keto snacks busy momBefore I had kids, I thought I’d be that mom who cooks and bakes endlessly with her kids. After all, I enjoy being in the kitchen, so why wouldn’t I want my sweet offspring by my side as I lovingly prepare meals for the family.

Ah, to be that young and idealistic again. Every year we get busier and more pressed for time, and—in my experience, at least—cooking with your kids makes everything take three to eleven times longer. Gone are my ideas of being Betty-Crocker-meets-Mary-Poppins in the kitchen. I have new priorities now:

  • I need to be time-efficient.
  • I want to feed myself and my kids nutritious foods.
  • I refuse to prepare separate meals or snacks for kids and adults.
  • My kids should learn their way around the kitchen, which means giving them age-appropriate tasks.

Most days we manage dinner together, but the rest of the day is a whirlwind. Snacking is something of a contentious topic in the ancestral community. Sincere kudos if your family can stick to set meal times with perhaps one planned snack interlude. Realistically, though, snacking happens here. Rather than fight it, I try to have quick, healthy options that check my four boxes above.

These are some of my top picks. Add yours in the comments section.


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Dips & Spreads

Veggies with ranch dressing. Use raw vegetables like celery, carrots, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and mini sweet bell peppers, or leftover roasted asparagus or Brussels sprouts. To make a thicker dip, mix the ranch with sour cream to get the consistency you want.

Frozen chicken skewers (I get mine at Costco) dipped in barbecue sauce or a quick peanut sauce. This one uses tahini, or you can use almond butter instead.

Guacamole with raw vegetables or pork rinds. To uplevel the experience, try this recipe for Bacon Guacamole with Cheddar Chips.

Apples, pears, or celery with nut butter.

Hummus with veggies. Classic hummus is easy to make or buy pre-made if you eat chickpeas, but you can also make delicious legume-free versions like this Roasted Cauliflower & Macadamia Nut Hummus.

How kids can help:

  • Wash and cut raw vegetables and fruit with supervision and depending on age.
  • Pour dipping sauces into ramekins.
  • Smash avocados for guacamole.
  • Run the food processor for hummus.
  • Arrange the food on plates.

Stuff You Can Eat with Toothpicks

Cubed melon wrapped in prosciutto.

Caprese skewers: cherry tomato + pearl mozzarella + basil leaf. Optional Italian or balsamic dressing to dip.

Meatballs, like these kid-approved Teriyaki Meatballs.

Steak “salad” bites. Leftover cubed steak topped with a few leaves of baby spinach and cheddar or blue cheese. Dip in BBQ sauce or dressing of choice. For the grown-ups, add Quick Pickled Onions.

How kids can help:

  • Cube melon or steak.
  • Wrap prosciutto around melon.
  • Assist with cooking meatballs. The steps are easy enough for even young kids, supervised.
  • Assemble the skewers.
  • Pour dipping sauces into ramekins.

Charcuterie Plates

Charcuterie plates are just meat, crackers, cheese, produce —stuff you eat every day, but it’s the presentation that counts. There’s a reason the charcuterie plates were trending all over social media this year. Artfully piling a bunch of food on a platter or cutting board feels fancy and abundant. The nice thing about charcuterie plates is that you can put them out, and everyone can help themselves to the parts they like. It’s a great way to introduce new foods in a non-pressuring way.

All you need is any combination of the following:

  • Crunchy stuff: grain-free crackers, cheese crisps, pork rinds.
  • Cheese: any kind, sliced or cubed.
  • Meats: cured meats, smoked salmon, sliced leftover steak or chicken.
  • Nuts.
  • Vegetables: any raw, pickled, or roasted.
  • Fruits: olives, berries, cubed melon, grapes, apples, pears, persimmons, figs, dried fruits.
  • Dips: guacamole, chutney, etc.

How kids can help:

  • Slice/cut cheese.
  • Wash and cut vegetables and fruit.
  • Spoon dips into ramekins.
  • Arrange food on platter.

NOTE: You can also adapt this idea into bento boxes. Have your kids help you fill compartments with these same types of ingredients. Put them in the fridge to grab for snacks or on-the-go mini-meals throughout the week.

Greek Yogurt Parfaits & Smoothie Bowls

These are filling options that older kids can make themselves—really more a small meal than a snack. All you need is Greek yogurt, protein or collagen powder if making smoothies, and toppings. Some of our favorites are:

  • Grain-free granola
  • Hemp or chia seeds
  • Cacao nibs
  • Shredded coconut
  • Fresh or frozen berries
  • Pomegranate seeds

How kids can help:

  • Assist with making homemade granola.
  • Putting ingredients in the blender and pushing the buttons.
  • Adding toppings.

Prepare-ahead Options

With a little bit of work at the beginning of the week, you can stock your fridge with feel-good snacks to which your kids can help themselves.

  • Egg muffins, customized with whatever ingredients each family member prefers.
  • Hard-boiled eggs.
  • Chia pudding.
  • Primal-friendly muffins, either sweet like these Keto Blueberry Muffins or savory like these Bacon & Cheddar Keto Muffins.
  • Paleo pancakes or waffles can be frozen then heated up in a toaster oven or microwave. Add protein powder to the batter for extra protein.

How kids can help:

  • Chop vegetables for egg muffins.
  • Assemble and stir chia pudding, and put lids on jars.
  • Stir muffin and pancake batter.
  • Crack eggs.

Ready in Less Than A Minute

  • Sliced meat wrapped around string cheese
  • Can of sardines, optionally mashed with avocado. Maybe a hard sell for older kids, but you’d be surprised how younger kids will gobble them up.
  • Jerky, pemmican.
  • Primal Kitchen Protein Bars.
  • Handful of nuts + dark chocolate.
  • Half an avocado with Tajín or everything bagel seasoning.
  • Pickles.

TAGS:  Keto, Primal, snacks

About the Author

Lindsay Taylor, Ph.D., is a senior writer and community manager for Primal Nutrition, a certified Primal Health Coach, and the co-author of three keto cookbooks.

As a writer for Mark’s Daily Apple and the leader of the thriving Keto Reset and Primal Endurance communities, Lindsay’s job is to help people learn the whats, whys, and hows of leading a health-focused life. Before joining the Primal team, she earned her master’s and Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also worked as a researcher and instructor.

Lindsay lives in Northern California with her husband and two sports-obsessed sons. In her free time, she enjoys ultra running, triathlon, camping, and game nights. Follow along on Instagram @theusefuldish as Lindsay attempts to juggle work, family, and endurance training, all while maintaining a healthy balance and, most of all, having fun in life. For more info, visit lindsaytaylor.co.

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6 thoughts on “Keto and Primal Snacks for Busy Mom Life”

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  1. Seriously, I could hug you. This is EXACTLY the help I needed today.

  2. I like tuna-salmon salad and chicken salad in the little two cup plastic bowls. Pared with some guacamole, you can parcel out a snack or a quick on the run meal.

  3. These tips are good for everyone, not just busy moms! Sardines and hard boiled eggs are some of my go-to snacks, but you gave me some new ideas!

  4. We just started our keto/low carb food delivery business. Small business to keep us going through these tough times. Thanks for sharing, definitely gave us new ideas.

  5. Good content for parents they must aware how to cook nutritious foods and which which foods are the best source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and other things which are good for health. Thanks for the post. Keep it up!