Providing healthy snacking alternatives for our children is an important part of healthy growth and development. The usual cookies and chips that kids love are not the healthiest options. I've provided some healthy snack ideas for kids that are fun and easy to make. Get your children involved in preparation for a memorable experience.
Below are some food groups that should be enjoyed for healthy snacking:
- Fruits and vegetables are always a great choice and should be a regular part of our kid's diet.
- Whole grains that are low in fats and sugars are also a wonderful choice.
- Healthy nuts (served in small portions) are a great alternative for chips.
- Low-fat dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and pudding snacks are portable for easy snacking.
The key to getting kids to eat these healthy choices lies in the presentation. Kids love bright colors and fun shapes. Be creative by cutting fruits and veggies into chunks, wedges, and cookie cutter shapes, such as stars and hearts. I've listed 3 of my kids' favorite snacks:
- pretzel sticks & cheese – cut cheese into cubes and use pretzels instead of toothpicks to pick them up. Using a variety of different cheeses will provide an array of colors to make snack-time pretty!
- parfaits – layer fresh fruit (cut up) with your child's favorite yogurt. Top with granola for extra crunch!
- mini pizzas – toast whole-grain English muffins and top with your favorite spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and heat until cheese is melted. Get an extra serving of vegetables by topping with green peppers, mushrooms, or any of your child's favorite veggies.
Commit to trying a new fruit and vegetable every week. You may be surprised what your kids will like. Variety coupled with a little creativity and imagination will have the kids eating healthy and living strong all year long!