SEATTLE — Between school, sports and other extracurricular activities we need to keep our kids fueled with healthy snacks. Granola bars and trail mix are classic options but are filled with sugar. 

"You want to balance it," said Chef Ryan Garcia of Seattle Children's. This means supplying your fridge and pantry with a good mix of fruits, vegetables, protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Chef Garcia recommended parents assemble small snack packs that kids can bring to school and eat throughout the day. They can be filled with easy to prepare snacks like strawberries, pineapples, boiled eggs, nuts, cheese, cucumbers, and chocolate, "Having something like this keeps their blood sugar levels up, and keeps them aware and awake to learn."

Hummus is a simple snack filled with protein that Chef Ryan encourages parents to experiment with. "Hummus is a great base for any flavor. I've added avocado to one, roasted red peppers, roasted sweet potato... and a pesto."

chef ryan hummus
Chef Ryan of Seattle Children's five different hummus types: original, pesto, roasted sweet potato, roasted red pepper and avocado

Chef Ryan has suggested specific amounts of lemon juice and tahini in his recipe (below), but he encourages adding more or less based on your preferences.

"I like tahini because I like the flavor of it and it really makes it smooth."

Traditionally, hummus uses raw garlic, but Chef Ryan suggests making it with roasted garlic, "It kind of makes a little sweeter and it doesn't make it as harsh."

Chef Ryan Garcia's Hummus

Serves 8-10 (makes about 2 cups)


  • 1 (15oz.) Garbanzo Beans can, drained, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 ea garlic clove, roasted
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • To taste kosher salt and black pepper


On low heat, roast the garlic cloves in the olive oil.

Add all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to covered container and chill for about 30 minutes or longer to allow the flavors to blend. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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