Healthy Snacks Your Kids Will Love

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When my kids come home from their school, the first thing they do is make a beeline for the kitchen. I’m guessing that many of yours are similar and that after a long day all they really want is a blood sugar boost and a chance to veg out for a bit. Also, if yours are anything like mine, I’m guessing that if there are cookies or salty junk food to be found, that’s probably what they’ll go for first.

Healthy Snacks for Kids

So what I try to do is have a variety (remember: Kids like to have a choice) of relatively healthy, easy-to-grab snacks for them to choose from. There’s always fresh and dried fruit on hand, as well as yogurt, but sometimes they crave something a little bit more interesting. Here are some of my easy go-to’s:

Nuts
These little nutritional powerhouses contain plenty of protein, iron, copper, magnesium, and other trace elements. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which aid brain development, and pecans are an incredible source of antioxidants. If you’re feeling fancy, toast them in the oven with a little bit of brown sugar or honey and spices.

Popcorn
Forget greasy, stale movie theater popcorn. Pop your own (preferably unflavored) popcorn in the microwave and toss it with a little grated cheese, salt and just a smidge of butter or olive oil. It’s high in fiber and surprisingly light.

“Ice Cream”
This is one of my favorite tricks. I couldn’t believe this worked before I tried it. Simply take very ripe peeled bananas, chop them into chunks, and freeze them for just one or two hours until-semi frozen. Throw them all in a blender with a dash of vanilla extract and blend, pushing the sides down. Freeze it in the freezer until it’s solid. That’s it. Of course, there’s plenty of ways to change it up a bit. My personal favorites:

  • Pinch of cinnamon with a few tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, for a Spanish-inspired version
  • A few tablespoons of Nutella
  • A couple tablespoons of peanut or almond butter with a bit of honey

Frozen Fruit
No, I don’t mean the bags you see at the store. Try freezing chopped watermelon, sliced bananas or whole grapes. It’s amazing what a difference it makes and it’s an easy way to get kids to eat more fruit (with no added sugar). If you want to make this more of a dessert, freeze whole, peeled bananas until firm, then dunk them in a little melted chocolate and roll them in chopped pistachios or almonds. Think of it as a slightly more wholesome version of a Magnum.

Popsicles
Similarly, popsicles can be quite healthy, if you make them yourself. While store-bought kinds tend to be super-sweet, you can make delicious versions at home with barely any extra sugar. Take your favorite juice (if you can find freshly squeezed orange juice on the street, that’ll work extremely well), add maybe a pinch of sweetener, pour it into popsicle molds, insert sticks and leave it to freeze until solid. As a bonus, this is easy and fun to make with kids.

Photo Credit: See-ming Lee 李思明 SML via Compfight cc

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Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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