It is essential for a growing child to get all the nutrition they need, but it’s also important to build healthy eating habits for life. Here are some popular snacks for hungry kids.
Smoothies are surprisingly quick to make, and can contain lots of fiber, calcium, and protein with very little sugar, all naturally added. They popular because they are easy and quick to consume, and naturally sweet. Just mix some of your favorite fruits with some yogurt in a blender. Some popular fruit choices are berries because of their antioxidant content, and apples or bananas for texture. Add fruit juice to taste if the mixture is too sour or thick. If your child is sensitive to dairy, you can use silken tofu, and thin with soy milk or fruit juice.
Cut-up fruits with a healthy dip are another popular choice. Choose a sturdy fruit, like apples or pears, for best results. Extremely wet fruits, such as citrus fruits, do not stick to most dips very well. Blot the surface of the fruit with a paper towel before dipping if the dip does not adhere. Peanut or other nut or seed butters are popular choices (sunflower seed butter is a popular choice for nut-sensitive kids), but you could even use a soft cheese like Brie.
Sliced vegetables with hummus as a dip is another popular choice. The vegetables provide lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The hummus provides lots of protein, a creamy mouth feel, moisture, and a neutral vehicle to carry flavor. If you buy a plain hummus or make your own at home, you can customize the flavor blend. Pairing a neutral vegetable, like celery, with a strongly flavored hummus is a great snack.
Whole grain crackers and real cheese is another great snack for kids. The whole grain provides flavor and nutrition in the form of fortified grain and fiber, while the real cheese provides lots of protein and calcium. Most kids like standard cheese flavors like Cheddar or Mozzarella, but you could also try such fun varieties as Blueberry Chevre if they are more adventurous eaters.
Ants-on-a-log is a popular snack that has withstood the test of time. It is nothing more than celery, peanut butter, and raisins. The snack’s neutral sweetness, lots of crunch, and fun of assembly has made it a favorite of kids for decades. Show them how to make it once, let them know that those components are available for snacking anytime, and soon you will have no more fights about eating at least some vegetables a day. If your child is allergic to peanuts, try another nut or seed butter, such as almond or sunflower seed butter.
Eating between meals is the best way to make sure your growing kids are getting the nutrition they need, and giving them individual portions they can eat as wished, such as leaving cut-up fruit or vegetables in bowls in the refrigerator they know they can eat at any time, is a great way to help them build healthy eating habits for life.