Eating right is a great way to set a solid foundation for your children. With all of the commercials and advertisements they'll be bombarded with, giving them the gift of good health means more than ever.
Snack time is important to keep the body going and to take a break from whatever activities your child engages in throughout the day. Whether they are in middle school or preschool, healthy snacks do more than just feed the tummy. They also feed the brain.
Aim for a snack that provides both protein and fiber. Kids have plenty of energy without the addition of extra sugar. Dairy provides for strong bones and doubles as a protein booster.
A few snacks you may want to try are listed below. Keep in mind that there are sugar free, and non-additive based foods out there. Just because it's peanut butter, doesn't mean it's filled with sugar. Look for ingredient lists that mention whole foods rather than weird byproducts or names you can't pronounce.
Try these fun ideas:
Ants on a log
Celery, peanut butter and raisins. Cut the celery into hand sized pieces, smooth peanut butter in the middle and place raisins or dried cranberries down the middle
Stores often have mini versions of the large bagels they sell. Take those, add a little bit of tomato sauce, some mozzarella and stick them in the oven to melt the cheese! Add bits of green pepper or turkey pepperoni for extra yum!
For some reason kids LOVE to dip their food. You can get them to eat cut up veggies with greek yogurt mixed with some seasoning or plain! Try cut up apples with yogurt or peanut butter for a fun treat without the complaints! Seasoning mix in's can include vanilla or cinnamon, or Mrs. Dash type seasonings that don't have salt or sugar added.
Super easy yogurt pops give your kids something to eat off of a stick! Simply add yogurt into an ice cube tray, freeze, and stick popsicles sticks in it for a refreshing snack. Add small berries or fruit cut up into smaller pieces.
Smoothies are universally loved. Make your own, healthy version for the kids by adding ice cubes, fruit and the milk of your choice to a blender. Fun additions can be peanut butter, or cocoa. There are so many combinations the kids will never get tired of them!
Make your own at home! Include the bigger kids in making a batch of healthy granola by mixing rolled oats, honey, coconut oil and nuts or dried fruit. Adding vanilla or cinnamon only makes them more yummy and appealing to the littles. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake in the oven. When cooled, cut into cubes or bars.
These days you can find tortillas in all sizes and types. There are low carb, wheat or spinach tortillas and they come in smaller sizes. Mix chopped fruit in a blender with greek yogurt and spread over the tortilla. Roll it up and watch them smile! Adding grated cheese and melting in the microwave for 15 - 30 seconds makes a yummy handheld quesadilla.
Easy snack mixes are made without the added sugar! Use fruit chips, such as dried banana chips, or apple chips and combine with nuts, raisins, pretzels or other whole grain crackers. Separate into small baggies for a quick on the go snack perfect for running errands.
Fruit and Cheese
Save money by cutting up the cheese yourself and putting it in a bowl with berries, bananas, or apples. One of my favorite snacks growing up!
Making your own healthy snacks at home ensures that you know what your kids are putting in their bodies, giving you peace of mind and giving them the foundation for eating healthy for the rest of their lives!