Kids are snacking more than ever, and as a parent, you've got the power to make those snacks helpful.
Snacks, especially in the afternoon, should be a part of every child’s balanced diet. When your kids run through the door in the afternoon and head to the kitchen for a snack, make sure you have healthy snack recipes to make for them. Many of these healthy kids snacks can be prepared ahead of time or whipped up in a couple of minutes.
Whether eaten on the go or at home after school, healthy snacks are easy and quick to put together and eat, and offer important nutrients and energy in each delicious bite. Keep healthy beverages, such as water, juice, and soymilk, and snack foods, such as the ones listed in the below, on-hand at home and encourage your children to pack them into their bags before leaving the house.
Healthy Snacks for Kids
Nutritious snacking can help your child curb hunger throughout the day, as well as provide energy and important nutrients. Find out how to make healthy snacks for kids.
Natural, sweet and good for you, fruit is a popular snack choice among kids and parents. OK, so maybe the youngsters don’t need as many as five a day, like the old saying goes, but kids do require about 1.5 cups of fruit per day. If you want to make fruit even more appetizing, try pairing it with low-fat, plain yogurt for dipping. Or stick some freshly washed grapes in the freezer for a cool snack on a hot, summer day.
Ensure that your child is getting some extra calcium and vitamin D when they need it most by offering up some string cheese or cheese cubes. Pop a string cheese pack into your lunch box or purse, or take a few cheddar cheese snacks home for the tailgate party. Take a cue from our friends in Wisconsin and have your kids snack on the delicious and satisfying taste of any of the variety of cheese flavors.
Even the pickiest kids can’t resist fruit smoothies, which are naturally sweet and can be an excellent way to sneak nutrition into their diet. Beware of store-bought smoothies, however, which are usually full of added sugar. These end up carrying as many calories as a full meal (for a toddler). You might as well be giving them a milkshake.
Cereal is a great source of fiber, which is filling and healthy. Unfortunately, many cereals that kids love are full of sugar. Consumer Reports investigated the sugar content of some brands and found that a bowl of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks serves up as much sugar as a glazed donut. Several other popular kids’ cereals also had hefty amounts of added sweeteners.
Popcorn is packed with whole grains and fiber. These grains may lower your chances of developing diabetes and heart disease. When it’s not drenched in butter and salt, it’s actually a very healthy snack for kids. Many kids usually aren’t as excited to eat plain popcorn, so to make the healthy version more appetizing, sprinkle cinnamon or powdered garlic on top. If all else fails, you can also just add plain popcorn to your trail mix.
Although high in fat, peanut butter is packed with fiber and protein. If your child has peanut allergies, you’ll have to steer clear of this snack choice. Such allergies have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, so it’s important to watch for evidence such as rashes around the mouth and face. But sometimes, more severe reactions occur, such as difficulty breathing, which require immediate medical attention.