My friend raised an issue the other day, which, I am sure is very close to many parents: snacks, which other parents bring to schools, aren’t healthy. And kids “don’t want to eat anything healthy.” And then we went on and on.
I am pretty sure you heard it all before. So, I suggested my friend educates the parents that bring those unhealthy snacks and gives them a page-long printout of “what sugar and food colorings do to the body.” I also told her to give the parents a printout – a list of healthy kids’ snacks. To make her (and your) job easier, I decided to put the list of healthy snacks right here. Please, let me know your thoughts about this list and how would you modify it. The list is nut-free, because most schools ask for snacks to be nut-free due to allergies.
- If using dairy, soy products or citrus fruits, be sure children are not allergic or intolerant to them before serving. Limit liquids as snacks. Avoid juice drinks, sodas, or soft drinks, especially those with caffeine. Use smoothies instead of juices, because of the fiber and additional nutrients they provide. Always encourage children to drink plenty of water. Avoid offering high-sugar cookies, doughnuts, brownies and similar other baked goods (such as Oreos, Hostess Cupcakes, etc.). Avoid snack foods that may cause gagging and can contribute to dental decay and an array of other health problems. Remember that many prepared foods are marketed as kid-friendly, but are actually processed foods, which are poor in nutrition, so always read labels.
Healthy Snacks For Kids:
Whole grain crackers spread with sunflower butter and mashed banana
Trail mix (seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, etc.)
Nut-free granola and yogurt
Shish kebobs: Give kids all kinds of fruit slices ( precut with cookie cutters into fun shapes,) some tiny cheese cubes and a few wooden or plastic sticks and (under close supervision at all times) let them make their own fruit shish kebobs.
Veggie sticks (like celery, cucumbers, & carrots cut into strips) with hummus dip
String cheese and ½ orange
Hard-boiled egg and slice of toast
½ apple and tahini
Fruit smoothie (bananas, frozen berries, ice and maybe non-dairy milk)
Veggie smoothie party :read more here. I actually know a mom, who brought a blender and veggies to school and made green smoothies for the kids and they couldn’t get enough of them -true story!
Ants on a Log (celery, sunflower seed butter or tahini, raisins)
Applesauce and crackers
Cheese slices on whole-wheat crackers
Eggplant slices, roasted with olive oil and chia seeds, until crispy like potato chips.
Banana spread with sunflower butter: Blend or mix them by hand.
Peach slices topped with vanilla yogurt or with vanilla cashew yogurt.
Raisins and other dried fruit: my kids LOVE dried fruit and I actually have to limit it.
Apple ring sandwiches (tahini on apple rings)
Frozen fruit cups (freeze pureed or crushed fruit and allow to soften slightly in the fridge before serving.
Homemade popsicles (freeze any fruit smoothie and pour it into small paper cups or ice cube trays, insert popsicle sticks, and freeze until solid; then remove popsicle from cup by running under hot water for about 10 seconds. Blending yogurt or non-dairy milk with the fruit is also great)
Soft-cooked vegetables—carrots, asparagus, green beans, pea pods, sweet potato strips, broccoli or cauliflower served with hummus or apple dip.
Green pepper slices, tomato wedges or zucchini strips served with sunflower butter or cashew cream ( blend 1/2 cup presoaked cashews with 1/4 cup of water and 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes)
Yogurt with fresh berries
Ice cube trays with a bit of fruits or veggies in each opening
Fruits and vegetables, precut with cookie cutters.
Sandwiches, cut with cookie cutters.
Spirulina pudding ( you don’t have to talk about spirulina 🙂
Zucchini bread ( remove walnuts from the recipe)
Pita pocket filled with lean sliced meat or hummous, tofu, cheese (dairy or soy), greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, sunflower seeds
Corn tortilla, topped with tomato sauce, diced bell peppers, grated cheese (goat, soy or dairy) baked, and cut into quarters.