One of the best ways to get your kids to eat healthy snacks is to stock a special area for them in the fridge and in the kitchen pantry where they can quickly grab and enjoy their own snacks. And, as the old adage goes: If you don’t buy it – they can’t eat it. When you want to commit to a healthier lifestyle for your family, the best thing you can do is not to allow junk food in your home in the first place. So what should you stock your home with instead? Read below for some healthy, kid-approved snack ideas.
You can’t go wrong with a delicious serving of fruit! Most kids enjoy fruits that are easy to munch on, like bananas, grapes, apples, oranges, and berries. To create an even more special snack, pair a banana with peanut butter or strawberries with Nutella for a sweet treat.
A handful of nuts or trail mix packs a powerful punch of nutrients and healthy fats necessary for growing bodies! Ensure that your kids get plenty of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and magnesium by providing their favorite varieties of nuts for snack time. Some brands can add loads of extra sugar and flavorings, however, so be careful to check the labels when purchasing.
String cheese is a great and filling way to satisfy your kids at snack time, especially if you shop organic. Cheese is an excellent source of calcium and protein, as well as other essential nutrients for growth and development. Best of all? You don’t have to beg your kids to eat it!
Most kids love yogurt, and whether you buy a dairy, coconut, almond milk, or soy variety, the live cultures are great for developing tummies. For a healthier treat, look for options with less sugar added or with fresh fruit mixed in. Yogurts marketed specifically for kids typically have additional sugar, food dyes, and other unhealthy additives, so check labels carefully before you purchase.
The great thing about smoothies is that you can easily sneak in any nutritious veggie you’d like, including ones your kids wouldn’t normally eat! For example, a delicious berry smoothie can easily mask the flavor of a handful of spinach or kale. Blend your own or purchase pre-bottled smoothies like the kid-friendly flavors from Naked Juice.
Although mainly popular with toddlers, many older kids still enjoy a cool, refreshing treat of applesauce. Today, many flavor options exist beyond the classic variety, including strawberry applesauce and cinnamon applesauce. Options that are organic and have no sugar added are available on the market, or you can quickly make your own at home.
For a more convenient fruit snack on the go, look for prepackaged freeze-dried fruit that provides all of the nutrients with none of the mess. These healthy, crunchy snacks are also great for kids with texture aversions.
Carrots with Dip
The best way to get kids to eat their veggies is with a corresponding dip, and carrots are no exception. A typical kid favorite is ranch dressing, although less picky eaters may enjoy more exotic flavors like hummus or spinach and artichoke dip. Carrots are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin K and are also a great source of dietary fiber. For more variety, add other sliced veggies like red peppers and celery.
Gone are the days when crackers were thought of as pure junk food. These days, healthier varieties are becoming easier to find. While the typical favorite is still cheese crackers, tasty options can be found in many different flavor varieties. Best of all, today’s cracker aisle is stocked full of healthy brands that can meet any dietary need, such as dairy-free or gluten-free.
For kids who love potato chips, a better alternative — with the same delicious, salty crunch — is plantain chips. Plantains are a great source of many essential nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Plantain chips generally have far less sodium than potato chips, and baking your own at home can result in an even healthier snack.