When your kids are still growing, it’s super important to make sure they get the right nutrition. That means three balanced meals and some healthy snacks in between. Truthfully, it’s a lot of work. And the hard part isn’t making the snacks; it’s coming up with fresh snack ideas all the time; at least, that was the part I struggled with. Plus, as your kids get older, their tastes and attitudes change towards food, which makes your job even harder. I’ve been there, so I definitely feel your pain. Here are some of the ideas that got me through the early years through high school
Elementary School Snacks
- Celery and peanut butter logs – It’s the old “ants on a log” trick. This snack really couldn’t be easier and kids love it. Just cut a celery stalk into three to four inch pieces and fill them with peanut butter. Then, place raisins on top.
- Apple smiles – This is a really cute idea that makes snacking fun. First, cut an apple into slices. Then, take two slices and spread a small layer of peanut butter on one side of each. Stack the two pieces with a few mini marshmallows between them (peanut butter sides facing inward). Your newly created snack should be smiling back at you.
- Fruit kabobs – Skewers make everything fun, don’t they? Choose different fruits, like apples, oranges, pears and grapes, to keep it interesting.
- Applesauce cups – If you have some spare time on your hands, you can make this one at home. Peel core and quarter about six apples. Put them into a pot with 1 cup of water, the juice from one lemon, ¼ cup of brown sugar and 1 tsp. of cinnamon. Bring to a boil and either mash with a potato masher or use a food processor. For a quick on the go snack, Eden Organic Applesauce is yummy!
- String cheese and almonds – Most kids at this age need something quick to nosh on between classes, often at their lockers. If the snack is too complicated it’ll just stay in the bag. That’s why this classic combination of calcium, fiber and protein works so well.
- Granola/Nutrition bars – Granola bars are usually loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein. Just check the labels to make sure the kind you buy isn’t also loaded with sodium or sugar. I prefer KIND nutrition bars, 7 grams of protein, low sugar.
- Trail Mix – Trail mix is good for a protein boost between classes. Just try to buy or make one with a combination of healthy ingredients, such as nuts, berries and seeds, and watch out for the sodium content.
- Pita chips and salsa or hummus – Chips and dip just seems like the perfect snack for teens. If you provide them with a healthy version, like pita chips and hummus or salsa, they’ll be less likely to hit up the vending machine. popchips are a yummy, gluten free chip, all natural too!
- Greek yogurt and real fruit – Yogurt is a great source of calcium and beneficial probiotics, but many flavored brands are very high in sugar or artificial sweeteners. Instead, try adding your own flavor with pureed fruit or low sugar jam.