Kids always seem to be hungry and kids always love snacks. Unfortunately, most of the snacks now available in the aisles of the grocery store are full of sugar, preservatives, artificial ingredients and very little nutritional value.
How do we give our kids healthy options while still enjoying the convenience of quick snacks and finding some that are school lunch friendly too?
Healthy Snack Secrets
Have healthy options on hand in their own cupboard or fridge space and let the kids know these are their snack choices between meals or for school lunches. These options require minimal preparing and provide kids with grab and go options for healthy snacks and contain protein which will fill the kids up until its meal time:
Hard Boiled Eggs
Oranges, Apples, Grapes with Yogurt
Cheese Cubes and Crackers
Banana and Peanut Butter
It can seem too daunting a task when you first get started but baking for just a couple hours every 3 weeks can provide enough healthy options for 3 kids to take two snacks to school everyday. Get the kids to help you bake. They will learn the importance of nutritious ingredients and you will be teaching them to make healthier choices. Search for muffin and cookie recipes that use real fruit and vegetables (apples, banana, carrots, zucchini, spinach brownies?) and whole grains (oatmeal, flax, whole wheat flour) and very little oil, butter or sugar like this Oatmeal Banana Bread.
Invest in some freezer safe tubs that you can store your baked goods in for 3 weeks. Separate the rows with wax paper so the muffins and cookies don’t freeze together and store in your freezer where the kids can reach. Each school morning have them pick 2 snacks to put in their reusable containers. Convenient and healthy!
Replace This with That
Instead of all purpose flour, use mostly or all whole wheat flour. Replace half of the butter with apple sauce. Use maple syrup or honey instead of refined sugars. Subtract ¼ cup of the flour and use ground flax, oat bran, wheat germ, or bran instead. Add shredded apples, carrots and zucchini or mashed bananas to everything. Puree cooked carrots, zucchini or apples in place of shredded if ingredients must be hidden.
Get kids to re think snacks! Purge the packages and provide homemade & whole foods!