Developing healthy eating habits early can make a big difference for your kids later in life. A well-timed snack can do wonders for children’s daily activities and schedule as well as prevent overeating at larger meals. On top of that, it can regulate hunger, provide energy between meals and add extra nutrition for picky eaters. The trick is giving your kids healthy snacks that not only help them develop the right kind of eating habits, but also keep them happy. Here are six snacks that will make you the snack MVP.
When making snacks for kids, time isn’t a luxury you’ll often have. That’s no problem when you can whip up some almost-ice cream in about 2 minutes. Simply take low-fat, low-calorie yogurt and blend it with berries or other fruit and some honey or agave syrup for 20 seconds. Then, serve it. It’s that easy and is a healthy snack for children of all ages (yes, that includes you). Best served cold. You can experiment with different portions of each ingredient to reach optimal tastiness levels.
Apple crisps are delicious, healthy and incredibly addictive. While you can purchase apple crisps from most retailers, homemade apple crisps are more delicious, more rewarding and not that difficult (though it does take some time). First you’ll want to heat the oven to about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. While that’s heating up, core some apples and cut them into thin slices (a few millimeters at most). Add a dash of cinnamon on top of the apples if you’d like.
Cook the apples for approximately an hour, removing any crisps that have turned brown. Once the apples have dried and look golden, remove them, cool them and then store them. Apple crisps are great because kids eat them like candy, but there’s no sticky hands like you might find with regular apples.
It’s inevitable. There will be moments when you just don’t have time to prepare anything and you need a snack pronto. In these situations, consider mixed nuts. Almonds and cashews are two great examples of healthy snacks that you can buy at the store and require no preparation to be delicious. Depending on the age of your children you may have to skip this one, but keep it in mind as your kids get older.
While kids love popcorn, the salt and butter that usually accompany it isn’t very healthy. That being said, with a little preparation you can give your kids just what they’re craving and sneak in some nutrition too. First, pop some popcorn on the stove top or in a popcorn popper (though even microwave popcorn will do). Once it’s popped, sprinkle on ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of chili powder and a full tablespoon of agave syrup. Mix everything together and you’re done.
When it comes to healthy snacks, fruit is an obvious answer. Add a dash of ingenuity however, and you can take “fruit snacks” to a whole new level. Start by cutting up some of your child’s favorite fruits into thin slices. Pears and apples will work best. Next, layer the sliced fruit onto a plate and drizzle on some plain yogurt and honey. Finally, add some raisins, chopped strawberries, granola and maybe even a little coconut. Then you’re done. No salsa required.
Celery is an incredible vegetable that often gets left out of the conversation. For kids however, celery is one of the best snacks around. This is because celery is fun to eat and nutritious, making it a great starter food to prepare kids for eating more vegetables in the future. Combine it with almond butter (or natural peanut butter) and some raisins for added taste and your kids won’t even realize they’re eating healthy.