Monday, June 3, 2013

25 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids

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The other day a friend asked me for healthy snack ideas. We were stuck in an apple/cheese-stick rut so I stammered out a few ideas, but it got me thinking. Snacks are another area where it is easy to fall in a boring routine. I had some fun brainstorming ideas as you will see below. The best snacks include complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables or whole grains) for energy and protein (eggs, meats, dairy products, nuts or legumes) to keep you feeling full. While snack packs are convenient, they are often full of refined carbohydrates and food additives that just leave kids wanting more... or worse, bouncing off the walls!

Dr. Feingold discovered back in the 1970's that certain food additives (artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners) may worsen hyperactivity in kids and recommends that they should be avoided. While his research has not proved to be conclusive, many find that limiting or avoiding these additives can be helpful.

I came up with a list of twenty-five options that maximize nutrition while limiting food additives. Hopefully some of these will inspire you!

25 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids

  1. Fresh fruit and cheese stick: our easy go-to favorite snack
  2. Granola bars, either homemade or store-bought - look for ones that contain protein and without artificial ingredients (I like Kashi, Fiber One, Lara Bars or Kind bars)
  3. Fruit Salad or fruit skewers (add a squeeze of lemon juice to keep the fruit from browning) and a yogurt stick (I like Stoneyfield farms Yo Kids Squeezers or you can make your own with these silicon yogurt tubes)
  4. Baby carrots (or other vegetable) with hummus
  5. Ants on a log: celery sticks stuffed with nut butter and topped with raisins
  6. Applesauce and Babybel cheese
  7. A piece of fresh fruit and beef, turkey or bison jerky - look for one without preservatives (I like Simply Snackin)
  8. Fruit and yogurt parfait, made with fresh fruit, yogurt and granola
  9. Trail mix: dried fruit, nuts and mini-chocolate chips
  10. Pudding: homemade or store-bought - look for one without artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners (I like Cozy Shack)
  11. Whole grain crackers and cheese slices
  12. Whole grain pretzels and cream cheese or a laughing cow wedge of soft cheese
  13. Homemade cocoa roast almonds
  14. Dried fruit and a hard boiled egg
  15. Fruit leather: either homemade or bought - look for ones without artificial flavors, color or high fructose corn syrup (I like Clifbrand or Fruitabu)
  16. Roasted chickpeas
  17. Crispy kale chips
  18. Baked organic corn chips with guacamole or salsa
  19. Popcorn, plain or sprinkled with parmesan cheese
  20. Banana-Zucchini mini muffins (or other whole grain muffin recipe)
  21. Cereal and milk: look for a cereal with 3 grams of fiber, less than 10 grams sugar, and no artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors)
  22. Cocodate Cookies (from Weelicious)
  23. Low-fat oatmeal cookies or Kashi Chocolate Soft-Baked Squares
  24. Nut butter and jelly sandwich
  25. Lunchmeat rollups - look for nitrate free lunchmeats


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing it.It is very important to give children a very nutritious diet and it is a great responsibility of the provider.There are diseases of later age which usually arise from faulty eating in childhood.visit that provides healthy snacks for kids in tiffin.