It’s so easy for kids to reach for a bag of chips or sweets when they want a snack. Packaged processed foods tend to be the easiest thing to go for. But good-for-them snacks don’t have to be hard. Learn some ways to get your kids snacking healthy.
Taste the Rainbow
Make snacking fun by bringing some color to your child’s plate! No, not Skittles (which are terrible for your teeth). Fruits and veggies are a fun and easy snack for kiddos. Whole apples, bananas, and oranges are just as easy to grab as that bag of chips. And with a little bit of prep, you can have cut fruits and veggies ready for your kids to grab anytime they get the urge to snack. And bonus – fruits and veggies are a much, much better choice when it comes to oral health – in fact, some even help to clean food from your teeth! Another trick – keep cut fruits and veggies out where kids can see them and ready to eat. You may be surprised how often your kiddo goes for a plate of carrot sticks already sitting out on the table instead of rummaging through the pantry for something else.
Cut the Junk
One way to keep your kids snacking healthy is to keep junk food out of the house. They can’t eat what isn’t there! Make sure that you offer lots and lots of other choices though. Cheese, peanut butter, carrot sticks, low-fat pudding cups, and air-popped popcorn are all great choices to keep stocked. More than anything, you want to avoid a ton of processed sugar. Another tip- try to keep snacking in the kitchen or at least away from in front of the TV. Kids may find themselves mindlessly eating if they’re distracted by the TV.
If you’re having a hard time getting your child to eat healthily, think of fun ways to entice them to try better foods. Use cookie-cutters to make fun shapes. Can you make a funny face or other picture on their plate with their snacks? A tip to try is getting your kids in the kitchen with you to help make their snacks. Get a safety knife and let them cut up their own snacks or help you prepare for dinner. You may be surprised how much more willing they are to eat healthy foods if they feel like they helped contribute to their own snacks.
Grains, Proteins, and Sweets
Look for snacks with whole grains, such as whole-grain pretzels, tortillas, and cereals. Grains pack a punch of energy and help your kids stay powered throughout the day. The same goes for protein. Kids need protein to help their little bodies grow and they also keep them feeling fuller for longer. You may think meat when you think about proteins, but there are plenty of other snack-worthy proteins too. Peanut butter, cheese, edamame, nuts, and hard-boiled eggs are all great choices too! Snacking doesn’t have to be boring or bland. Incorporate some healthy sweet options too. Fat-free pudding, frozen yogurt, and fruit bars will always be snacking favorites.
You’ve Got This
Snacking doesn’t have to be hard, and there’s no reason that your kids can learn to love healthy options. You’re a great parent for caring about what they put in their bodies. Smart choices lead to healthy kids and that makes us happy. If you need a few more ideas, take a look below.
Apples, bananas, peaches, oranges, grapes (quartered for smaller kids to avoid choking hazards), cherries, grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, and plums.
Carrot sticks, celery sticks, cut bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, avocado slices, broccoli, cauliflower, and sugar snap peas.
Peanut butter, almonds, edamame, canned fish, cooked tofu, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese.
Whole-grain cereal, whole-grain pretzels, whole grain tortillas, rice cakes, air-popped popcorn, whole-grain pitas or pita chips, and whole-grain crackers.
Cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, low-fat chocolate milk, low-fat pudding, and frozen yogurt.