Snacks are an important part of every child’s diet. Whether your children are busy at school or enjoy spending time at home, snacks can be a convenient way to boost energy levels and enjoy sweet or savory tastes.
However, sugar-laden and salted snacks are the reason for the childhood obesity epidemic. The World Health Organization recommends limiting processed sugar to less than 10% of calories, but more than 60% of Americans between the ages of 2 and 19 eat a serving of candy daily. Parents need nutritious snacks that break this cycle and turn their kids into healthy eaters for life.
As parents, we often worry about ensuring our kids eat the right fuel for their growing bodies. It can be truly a challenge to get them to eat the right snacks. It’s hard to compete with all the sugary, salty snacks they want.
But don’t fret!
Here’s a list of colorful, nutritious, snacks your kids will surely love!
Smoothies are a great way to add color and nutrition to your kid’s lunchbox. Smoothies can be made with fresh, frozen, or fruit concentrate, yogurt, and milk. They’re easy to pack in bottles or containers with lids that have straws attached. Make sure you pack them in resealable plastic bags, so they don’t leak on the way home from school! You can also pack smoothie mixes in small containers for your child to add liquid when they’re ready for lunch.
A colorful fruit salad makes a great alternative to a sandwich or other lunch meat option. Choose fresh fruits that are in season so that you get the best flavor possible. Cut up the fruits into bite-sized pieces and include some cut-up cheese or nuts for added protein and crunch. Use toothpicks or skewers to hold everything together so nothing gets lost in transit!
Add some variety by making a fruit salad with several different fruits such as apples, strawberries, pears, and bananas; mix in a little lemon juice or orange juice if you want something sweet-tasting without added sugar or artificial sweeteners. If your child doesn’t like citrus flavors, skip them; they’re not necessary for this snack to taste good!
Yogurt parfaits are very easy to make, and most kids love them! Simply layer yogurt with fresh or frozen berries, granola, or nuts, then top with a dash of honey or maple syrup if desired. You can also add some chopped fruit, like bananas or apples, for extra sweetness.
Kids love these boats made from bell peppers. They’re easy to prepare, easy to eat, and are a great way to incorporate extra veggies into your family’s diet!
Here’s how it works:
Cut the top off of the pepper from stem to stem. Pop out the seeds with a spoon, then rinse your pepper under running water and pat it dry with a paper towel.
Fill up each section of your pepper with a different food item. If you want to get really creative, try using two different types of food in each section—like cheese cubes and crackers—or make one section into an open pocket (like an ice cream cone).
Serve these colorful snacks with ketchup or salsa for dipping!
Cut up carrots, zucchini, and other veggies into thin slices and bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until crispy. If your kids don’t like raw veggies, try this trick: Dip the veggie chips in ranch dressing before serving them up with dip or hummus.
Popcorn Made With Brown Rice Syrup Instead of Corn Syrup
To make it even healthier, substitute brown rice syrup for corn syrup when making homemade popcorn. This recipe can also use peanut butter to give it a rich flavor without all the fat from butter or oil you find in regular popcorn recipes.
These salty snacks are perfect for kids who love dipping their fingers into something savory after school or on the go. Look for whole-grain pretzels — those usually have less sodium compared to ones made with white flour or enriched dough.
Banana Oat Cookies
These cookies are extra-healthy because they have no added sugar or oil, but they still taste delicious! Bananas are high in potassium, which helps your child’s muscles and nerves work properly. Oats contain soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels in kids.
Rice cakes are a healthy snack for kids.
They’re low in calories and fat and made from whole grains. If you have kids who are picky eaters, try serving them rice cakes with peanut butter or cheese.
You can also make your own rice cakes by placing leftover rice in muffin tins and baking them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
You could also use the rice cakes as a base for tacos or other meals by topping them with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and other healthy ingredients.
Peanut Butter Banana Oat Balls
This is a kid’s favorite because it tastes like cookies! These oat balls are gluten-free and made with all whole grains—plus healthy fats from the peanut butter and banana. These oat balls are easy to make too! Just add all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth; then shape into balls using your hands or a cookie scoop; roll in coconut flakes or sprinkles; refrigerate until firm; then enjoy!
Whether you’re a parent or just watching one, you know how hard it can be to get your kids to eat the right foods. This list of colorful and nutritious snacks for kids is designed to help you out. Each snack has been chosen based on both its tastiness and nutritional value, so they’re bound to appeal to almost all children. Best of all, they even have a fun and creative twist that makes them suitable for a variety of ages.