Healthy Snacks for Kids: Ideas and Tips for Healthy Eating
Healthy Snacks for Kids
In today's fast-paced, instant gratification society, eating healthy can seem like a big challenge. We are constantly being bombarded by advertising messages about convenience foods to make our lives easier, and temptation seems to lurk around every corner. However, these convenience foods are typically heavily processed and often nutritionally void. With the rising incidences of health concerns like diabetes, heart disease and obesity, it is more important than ever for parents to teach their kids healthy eating habits.
While getting your kids to eat healthy snacks may seem to be difficult, it doesn't have to be. It does take some effort, but the health benefits will definitely pay off in the long run.
Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
Here are some quick and easy healthy snack ideas for kids:
- Fruit - apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, peaches, pears, berries, melon, pineapple
- Raw vegetables - cucumbers, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, avocado, cherry tomatoes
- Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Air-popped popcorn
- Healthy homemade muffins
- Fruit smoothies
- Hummus - serve with crackers, pita bread and/or raw vegetables
- Fruit parfait with yogurt, fruit and oatmeal
- Homemade trail mix
- PB & B Roll-Up (peanut butter and banana rolled-up in whole wheat tortilla)
- Whole grain crackers with nut butter or cheese
- Hard-boiled egg
- Low sugar cereal, either dry or with milk
Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Healthy Snacks
- Be sure to have healthy snack choices readily available at all times. When kids are hungry, they're hungry. If there are healthy snacks such as homemade muffins, yogurt, cut-up veggies and washed fruit ready to eat, they are much less likely to reach for a cookie or junk food.
- Presentation can be key! If you offer your child a piece of fruit, they may or may not be interested. But, if you present them with some fruit kebobs or a veggie platter with some dip, they will be much more likely to eat it up. Wouldn't you be too?
- Be a good role model. Make healthy snack choices for yourself, and be sure your child sees you enjoying them.
- Make healthy eating fun. There are some great nutrition resources available to help kids learn about healthy eating in a fun way. For example, with Crunch-A-Color, The Healthy Eating Game for Kids, kids earn points for eating a balanced and colourful meal, and get bonus points for trying new foods.
- Experiment with new healthy recipes that seem more like treats to kids. Some ideas include fruit smoothies, zucchini muffins, brownies made with hidden vegetables like spinach or black beans and kale chips.
- Try to limit the amount of low-nutrition, highly processed snack foods that you buy. If they're not available to eat on a regular basis, there will be less temptation for both you and your kids.
- When you're out, bring along some healthy snacks so you're less likely to purchase junk food if hunger strikes.