We all know we should feed our kids a bit healthier but it’s easier said then done. Especially with school starting around the corner we often rack our brains with what to pack and how to switch things up so our kids don’t get bored with the same old stuff (especially when it’s the same healthy stuff)!
I’ve compiled a list of healthy snacks that are great for children and teenagers of all ages to help you be prepared for school lunches and afternoon snacks:
Veggies. Every family is different, so pick the veggies that yours enjoys. Regardless of what you choose, try to make sure the veggies are cleaned and ready to eat. Some I put in small baggies so that if we’re leaving in a hurry, which is most of the time, I can quickly grab it on the go. Our preferred choices:
- Carrot Sticks
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Mini Bell Peppers
Tip: For something to dip the veggies in I like natural peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter (don’t knock it ‘til you try it), or hummus.
Fruits. The same rule for veggies above applies to fruit. I have some in a bag for those on-the-go days. Also, for certain items like apples I have them cut, washed, and sprayed with JPS Foods Spray (or squeeze some lemon on them) to prevent them turning brown.
- Dehydrated or Dried Fruit (just make sure it’s natural and not loaded with preservatives)
Tip: For something to dip the fruit in, I like natural peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter. Also, frozen fruit is a fun way to make the same old snack seem different and new for kids.
Breads and Bars. Complex carbs are a great way to sustain energy and keep both parents and kids feeling full. Kids may not necessarily need more energy, but good carbs will prevent sugar spikes and crashes.
- Whole Wheat Bread. My kids like this plain or you can add a nut butter and some jelly. Also, to make it fun, use a cookie cutter to cut out fun shapes. The more fun foods are, the more kids enjoy eating them.
- Muffins. Find ones that are low in sugar or make some of your own. My girls love oatmeal muffins. *See recipe section for the yummiest Banana Muffin recipe ever!
- Homemade Granola Bars
- Quest Protein Bars (the all natural variety)
- Whole Wheat Tortillas. You can put a nut butter on it and roll it up, or some avocado with a bit of cheese and roll it up.
Proteins and Fats (the good kind). There are several options other than meat to give your kids the necessary proteins and fat their bodies need.
- Nuts and Seeds. Obviously, some children have a nut allergy or are not yet of age to eat nuts. For those that have children able to eat nuts they are an excellent source of protein and healthy fat. We even oven-roast our own almonds so they are easier to chew and less abrasive on teeth. My daughters love pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- Beef Jerky
- Yogurt. Make sure it’s a brand that does NOT contain high fructose corn syrup or high quantities of sugar.
- Hard Boiled Eggs. My 3 & 5 year old loves these!
Other Tips: Studies have shown that the more exciting and fun you make your kids’ foods, the easier it will be to get your children to eat them. So make fun names for them, i.e., celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins can be their cool “ants on a log”, cut them into fun shapes with cookie cutters, and talk about their favorite TV or Disney character who “loves to eat them, too!”
Article by: Lynn Manning from 2fitathome.com
*Snack list was taken out of the recently published Ebook Fit & Health Family which is currently #2 on the Hottest Release list for Children’s Health and is only .99 cents to download for a limited time. To learn more about Lynn manning you can read her bio on her blog.
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