Chances are if you have children in your house you constantly hear them say “I’m hungry. Can I have a snack?” Children are constantly hungry. It doesn’t matter if they just got home from a busy day at school or if they just finished breakfast 10 minutes ago. Many little ones would choose to forgo their meals altogether to replace them with snacks.
Store bought granola bars and fruit snacks (those gummies that are a lot like candy) are quick and easy “snacks” that are in many households. However, they are loaded with sugars and all sorts of other processed ingredients that are not benefiting your child in any way. Here are 15 healthier snacks that your children are sure to love:
- Homemade trail mix – allow your child to create their own trail mix by giving them control of what items they include. Provide foods like dried fruit, nuts, pretzels, seeds, and cereals.
- Popcorn – No, not microwave popcorn. Make your popcorn with a little oil and some kernels in a pan or use an air popper to eliminate the oil.
- Smoothies –A little yogurt or milk mixed in the blender with your child’s favorite fruit is sure to be a hit. If you need a little extra sweetness opt for a spoonful of local honey.
- Veggies and hummus – I haven’t met a child yet that doesn’t like to dip their food. Cut up a variety of vegetables and provide hummus for them to dip their veggies in.
- Fruit – This is a simple one, but most children love fruit. Provide them with berries, bananas, and apples. Don’t be afraid to introduce them to fruits like kiwi and pomegranates.
- Kabobs – For some reason eating their food off of a stick makes it a lot more appealing. Make kabobs out of fruit and cheese.
- Sweet Potato Chips – Replace regular store bought potato chips with sweet potato chips. Thinly slice a sweet potato, brush the slices with some coconut oil, sprinkle them with a little sea salt and pop them in the oven.
- Ants on a Log – Don’t forget about our childhood classics like ants on a log. Cut up a few stalks of celery, spread a little peanut butter or almond butter on and allow your child to put the raisins on top.
- Homemade Popsicles – The options are almost endless here. Some of the favorite options are turning yogurt or 100% juice into popsicles.
- Homemade Applesauce – Opt for a healthier and hands on alternative to cups of store-bought applesauce. All you need are apples, water, and you can add in sugar and/or cinnamon if you choose.
The American Heart Association has found that 1 in 3 American children are either overweight or obese. This means there are more children than ever fighting physical issues like type 2 diabetes and blood pressure, along with emotional issues such as self-confidence. The food we feed our children matters for both their short-term and long-term benefit.