Free Time Means Snack Time
When we’re hungry we sometimes grab the closest, quickest and easiest snack available. The same is even more true for kids. Unfortunately, those are not always the healthiest options.
Keep the kitchen stocked with quick, healthy snacks, to help keep kids healthy and energetic. By taking the time to prepare the snacks ahead of time, you will be giving kids more opportunity to eat healthy. They will still grab what is quickest, but with the preparation already, done, they will also be grabbing the healthy snacks.
When preparing the healthy snacks for kids, also store them in sensible portions. Kids will be less likely to overeat if their snacks are already pre-portioned for them. Use snack-sized zipper bags, or even re-use yogurt or applesauce containers for dips and moist foods.
- Hummus and Cut Up Vegetables
There are different flavors and textures of hummus to select from the grocery store. Or, make your own hummus in a blender or using a food processor. Slice up some healthy kid-sized portions of carrots, celery, or any other of their favorite vegetables.
- Chicken on a Stick
Kids love to eat foods off of sticks. Forget fattening corndogs, and grill up some extra chicken kabobs the next time you grill dinner. Store the chicken kabobs in the fridge for a quick, protein-rich snack. Serve with a nice fruit salsa.
- Fruit With Yogurt/Applesauce Dip
Kids also enjoy dipping food in dips and condiments. Not all dips have to be full of trans fat and calories. Mix equal portions of non-fat yogurt with unsweetened applesauce, sprinkle withcinnamon and dash of nutmeg. Slice up some fruit, with a lemon-rubbed knife (to keep the fruit from browning), and store. The dip is so tasty kids won’t know that it’s good for them.
- Cheese and Turkey Toothpicks
To encourage modest consumption of cheese eating, cut up cheese into cubes and alternate it on toothpicks with slices of deli turkey. Roll the turkey slices and cut it into circles. Stick the toothpick through the top and bottom pieces.
- Muffins and Baked Goods
Sometimes kids need a little something sweet and a with a little decadence. Bake some healthy muffins, from scratch or a box or bag mix. When making a pre-packaged muffin mix, you can add some “healthy to it.” Mash in a banana, which will provide potassium, sweetness, and moisture. Or, include walnuts or oats, raisins, dates or fresh berries into the mix. Adding about a 1/4 cup of any of these items will enhance the muffins, without interfering with their baking.
By providing kids with healthier snacks, you are helping them make the right choices, even when they grab something quick and easy to eat.