Snacks are an important part of your preschooler’s diet. It won’t be wrong to say that kids wait anxiously for snack time. You try your best to feed healthy snacks to your tiny tots. Healthy snacks for kids combine proteins, fat, and fiber to satiate your child’s hunger pangs and fuel his busy mind. But that does not mean snacks should be a substitute for healthy meals. If you can convince your child to eat healthy snacks in moderation, you are good to go with these child-friendly recipes.
Feeding your child the right food is a challenging task. What is even more challenging is to create a healthy balance between meals and after-school snacks. Of course, you do not want to feed them too little during meals that you soon start to witness afternoon meltdowns. Moreover, you do not want to feed them too much during snack time that you are in for a tough dinner time, with your little munchkins not too interested in dinner.
So let’s get started with a few healthy snack ideas for kids that will instantly tickle their taste buds.
Bake A Fresh Batch of Cookies
You love cookies and your child is no exception either. In fact, most of us love to munch on these baked beauties. But do you know cookies are packed with empty calories and sugar?
So what is the best way out here? Bake a fresh batch of whole-meal cookies, keeping a check on the ingredients that go in. When you make cookies and snacks at home, you can cut down on the market junk that kids love to indulge in the form of cookies, candies, and chips.
Power Up With Protein To Make A Powerful Snack for Kids
Children need a good amount of muscle building protein to support their growing bodies and help them feel full for longer. When it comes to picking healthy snacks for kids, what can be a better option than hard-boiled eggs or cooked chicken tenders? Children of all ages love to relish this kind of stuff. The best thing about eggs is that you have numerous ways to cook them so it never gets boring for your preschoolers.
Healthy eating is key to growth and development. It is a good idea to stock hard-boiled eggs and deli meat. Nut butter is another rich source of protein and can pack a powerful punch for your little ones. If your children aren’t allergic to nuts, there are an umpteen number of healthy recipes to try out with nuts and nut butter. Peanut butter granola bars are a powerful snack that is equally addictive. Low-sugar, high-fiber energy bars are a perfect snack to boost nutrient intake of your tiny tots.
Fresh or Frozen Fruit: Snacks for Kids
Fruits, whether fresh or frozen, make for refreshing and healthy snacks for kids and elders alike. Packed with fiber and vitamins, fruits can be easily stored in airtight containers.
Encourage your preschoolers to pick their favorite fruits and veggies and make their own colorful rainbow with them. Give them a variety of options to choose from, including mangoes, cranberries, baby carrots, pineapple, peach, apple, banana, avocado, and red or yellow bell peppers, to create a colorful snack.
Apart from eating fruits as is, you could try making them look even more interesting by dicing them into chunks and serving along with cubes of their favorite cheese. Turn fruits into a power-packed snack by serving them with whole wheat pita bread.
Cut banana into 1-inch slices and dip them in your child’s favorite yogurt flavor or chocolate sauce. Then roll them in crushed graham crackers or chocolate chips. Place the slices in airtight containers and freeze until your baby’s snack time. You have a power-packed snack ready already!
Frozen Edamame: Healthy Snacks for kids
When it comes to feeding kids, veggies are a hard sell. You will hear all sorts of excuses with children around during the meal time. But there are ways to sneak these nutrient-rich foods into your kid’s diet plan. Edamame is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is a great source of iron and dietary fiber and makes perfect on-the-go snacks for kids. Steam a batch of frozen edamame and refrigerate in airtight containers three days before you plan to go out. Watch your preschoolers enjoying these edamame poppers. Edamame hummus makes a healthier substitute for high-calorie packaged dips.
Go for the Grain: Broaden the Menu of Snacks for Kids
While refined flours pack plenty of empty calories with no nutritional value and cause a blood glucose spike, whole-grain foods are high in fiber and ensure a steady release of energy to keep your preschoolers going strong. Whole grain tortillas or pretzels make a satisfying snack when paired with a hummus dip or a slice of cheese.
Microwave oatmeal with low-fat milk and stir in some unsweetened applesauce and a dash of cinnamon. You have yummy, healthy snacks for kids ready to satiate their hunger pangs for playtime and keep them feeling full until mealtime.
Foods labeled as zero fat can still pack plenty of calories and sugar. The same goes for foods labeled as cholesterol-free, which may still be high in fat, sugar, and sodium. Make kids aware of healthy ingredients and spur their curiosity when they go out shopping for grocery. Ask them to check nutrition labels to find out which foods have the lowest amount of sugar, fat, and sodium so that they can learn to make a smart snack choice.
Your child will not only learn to snack healthy, but also grow into a healthy adult, who can make good food choices.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com