Kids eat snack most days. Snacks can help kids get the nutrients needed to grow and maintain a healthy weight. As parents, we want a snack that is quick, but balanced and healthy for our kids. With a little planning, we can avoid the snacks that lack real nutrition and send our kids crashing from a sugar high. We also don’t want to give our kids snacks that don’t do the job and leave them searching for another snack in no time. So how do we make them healthy, fun and filling? Try these 5 simple tips to make sure your kids snacks are balanced, nutrition packed and leave them satisfied.
Healthy Snacks Start With Fruit and Veggies
What kid doesn’t need more fruits and veggies? Snack time is a perfect way to add those healthy foods. And we all know that any food tastes better when we are hungry. So why not take advantage of these hungry bellies and fill them with fruits and veggies. Not all kids will like something the first time they are offered it, but after seeing it several times and tasting it a few more, they just might actually eat those carrots and cucumbers. If your kids aren’t thrilled by the idea of fruits a veggies, try cutting them in fun shapes or dipping them in a sauce they like. Find the ways your kids enjoy eating veggies and start there. Pretty soon you can add in new and different ones.
Pack The Protein In Your Snack
If we add a protein to the snack, kids are more likely to be filled up and satisfied instead of asking for another snack in 5 minutes. Some easy, snack friendly proteins include:
- string cheese
- nut butters
- hard boiled eggs
- cottage cheese
- cheese cubes
- sliced turkey, ham, or roast beef
Make a Healthy Snack Plan
When you’re digging through the cupboard and the kids are whining, it’s easy to grab some crackers and fruit snacks to make them happy. But if you have a snack plan before the hunger hits, it’s a no-brainer to pass out healthy snacks instead.
- Remember to start with fruits and veggies and then add a healthy protein. Whole grains can be part of great snacks too.
- Try keeping a stash of cut up veggies and fruit in the fridge. This is a simple way to allow kids to choose their snack and keep it healthy at the same time.
- Find a formula that works for you. One option is allowing kids to choose one item from the fruit and veggie basket and the protein box. Another might be having snacks assigned to certain days; Mondays are string cheese and apple days, Tuesdays are for smoothies, Wednesdays are hard boiled eggs and fresh veggies, and so on. If your kids know what to expect (and you stick to your plan), the complaining goes away and happy healthy kids enjoy snack time.
- Follow a meal plan like the Family Fresh Meal Plan by Super Healthy Kids that gives you a snack option every day.
Involve Your Kids in The Snack Prep
Complaining kids are no fun, but if we involve them in planning and preparing they are much more likely to enjoy and eat what we are serving. Give them a few simple guidelines (such as the snack must have a fruit or vegetable in it) and let them be creative and have fun! Kids love to be involved with the food they eat and it’s a perfect time to help them learn to make good food choices along the way. If you need more ideas on prepping healthy snacks, this article has some great ideas!
Make Snacks Fun and Delicious
If you find that your kids don’t like something you have offered them, try making it in a different way that is fun and delicious. For example, if they don’t want to eat a plain apple, slice it up, slather with peanut butter and roll in different toppings like granola, coconut, or chopped nuts. Or dip the apple slices in yogurt and sprinkle with cinnamon. We have so many fun and delicious snack ideas in our Snack Category.
So next time those little ones start clamoring for a snack, be prepared with healthy options. Here are more great ideas for healthy snacks that will keep your kids happy and healthy!