Everyone loves a tasty snack, especially children!
Kids love coming home to grab a quick bite to eat after school or after playing with friends. The food choices they make during these crucial years will have a lasting impact on the development of their brains and bodies. Our bodies require important nutrients - and kids require even more - on a daily basis to remain healthy, such as healthy fats, lean protein, and Omega-3s. Kids will choose a snack according to what is available to them, which makes the parent’s job of stocking the fridge and pantry with healthy snacks extremely important. For the sake of your child’s health (and yours), it’s time to ditch the cookies, potato chips, cakes, and candy. Here are 7 examples of delicious healthy snacks your kids are sure to love:
1- Cucumber and Celery Boats
This is an example of lean protein (eggs) and healthy fats (peanut butter). Grab a cucumber, slice it in half lengthwise then take a small spoon and scrape out the seeds leaving a hollowed center (celery sticks will also work). Fill the center with egg salad and top with a cherry tomato, cheese square, or any other healthy topping of your choice. Fruits, such as apples and grapes are great toppings for the peanut butter boats.
2- Freeze Dried Fruits
This is a great option when fresh produce is not available. If you haven’t tried freeze dried fruits, you might think they couldn’t possibly taste good. You would be wrong. Freeze dried raspberries, bananas, coconut, strawberries, peaches, and blueberries are simply delicious. They are a low-calorie treat that is packed with antioxidants. For kids who have a sweet tooth, they are a healthy alternative to sugar filled snacks. Freeze dried fruit is also the perfect snack for times when you and your kids are on the go, such as camping, fishing, playing at the park, or hiking your favorite trail. It's even great for emergency kits with a 25 year shelf life!
3- Deli Meat and Cheese Pretzel Bites
These are fun for parents and kids to make. Simply take a slice of your favorite deli meat and roll it up tight. Then, take a slice of cheese (packaged pre-sliced cheese works best) and wrap it around the lunch meat roll and slightly overlap the edges. Then, take a pretzel stick and spear the roll through the middle. Voila, you now have a healthy snack that is easy to make and fun to eat!
4- Tomato and Avocado Cheese Melt
On a piece of whole-grain bread, spread a thin layer of olive oil mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (if you’re one ofTHOSE people) on to the bread. Then, add a couple slices of avocado and tomatoes and top it with a slice ofcolby jack cheddar cheese. Next, broil on high for 2 to 4 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the bread is toasted. This snack is not only for kids, parents are sure to enjoy it as well.
5- Fruit Smoothies
Smoothies are a great alternative to sugar-packed ice cream and popsicles. This is a particularly good choice on a hot summer day. Your kids will love picking their favorite fruit to add to this refreshing drink. In a blender add fruit, milk, plain Greek yogurt, honey, vanilla, and ice cubes. Blend until the consistency is smooth. Pour it into a glass (chilled glasses are best) and enjoy with either a spoon or a straw. This snack will quickly become a kid favorite.
6- Overnight Tropical Oats
These overnight oats work great for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. All you need is old-fashioned oats, vanilla Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and coconut almond milk. Stir the mixture in a jar and put it in the refrigerator overnight for at least 8 hours. Then, in the morning (or whenever you decide to dive into this treat) add fresh kiwi and pineapple chunks. For those who don’t like the tropical themed overnight oats, you can swap the flavored milk for unflavored and mix in the fruit of your choice.
Broccoli, cauliflower, veggie sticks, whole-grain pita bread, and pretzel rods are all healthy choices for hummus dipping. Tahini (crushed sesame seeds) is an ingredient in hummus that provides healthy fats, while vegetables and whole-grain pita bread are rich in fiber to keep kids fuller longer. Giving your kids healthy snacks will help them form good eating habits that will follow them throughout their lives. Start the path to a healthy life today. Say goodbye to Ding Dongs and Doritos and say hello to happy healthy kids.