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Healthy Snacks for Kids

I’ve been paying close attention to Michelle Obama’s new “Let’s Move” campaign to help America “raise a healthier generation of kids.” Childhood obesity is arguably the most important issue facing the next generation. I am floored that First Lady Michelle is bringing national attention to the need to improve our food system, make healthy foods affordable and accessible, and improve the health of the younger generation.

I don’t have any kids of my own yet, but I know that making healthy food choices for ONE person can be challenging enough. Try feeding a whole family every day! One of my favorite clients last year was a young mother with a full-time office job and…three small children. Her top priority was making them healthy meals every day, and I worked with her to plan grocery trips and prepare kid-friendly meals that were healthy and delicious.

Snacks are a big deal with kids. Sometimes they’re hungry before it’s time for a meal, or they just need a pick-me-up after school. So, I came up with some healthy snack ideas and that I hope you love. Please note: These snacks are solid foods, not designed for babies.

Making granola from scratch can be a fun activity to do with kids over the weekend. See my recipe for Homemade Granola. When it’s done, you can store it in an air-tight container and let the kids eat handfuls of granola for snacks during the week. If you’re going to buy a ready-made granola from the store, make sure to check the ingredient list to avoid excess sugars (any words that end with -ose), salt, and preservatives. Some health food stores like Whole Foods make their own granola at the store using all natural ingredients.

Tuna Roll-Ups
My Mom used to make these for my sisters and I when we were kids. We loved them! Mix up a can of tuna with chopped pickles, black pepper, slices of sweet bell peppers, and avocado (or any of your favorite mixings). Take a big spoonful of the tuna mixture and place it on top of a leaf of romaine or iceberg lettuce. Let the kids help roll-up the lettuce around the tuna into hand-held snacks. Other great fillings are hummus and bean or grain salads.

Homemade Popsicles
Popsicles are just fun to eat and you can get the kids involved in choosing the flavors. Buy 100% fruit juices and play around with different fresh or frozen fruits, plain organic yogurt, vanilla, and water to mix. Blend in a food processor or blender and pour into popsicle molds to freeze for about 2-3 hours. You can find molds at any kitchen store, and many grocery stores carry them during Spring/Summer time. Here’s a link to get you started: How to Make Fruitsicles.

Hummus & Veggies for Dipping
Spoon small servings of hummus into bowls and serve with slices of red/yellow/orange/green bell pepper, carrots, celery, or zucchini. This is an easy one to pack in a school lunchbox or serve on the spot when kids needs a quick snack. Always keep a few raw veggies on hand and store in your bottom vegetable drawer to keep them fresh for as long as possible. If you have a food processor, try making your own hummus ahead of time.

Roasted Nuts
You can roast any nuts to boost their yummy flavor and crunch. Buy no-salt varieties and roast them in your oven or on top of the stove in a dry sauté pan. A small handful is enough for a snack and are easy to pack for lunches. Try almonds, pecans, walnuts, or cashews. They are often favorites.

Slice of Whole Grain Bread w/ Nut Butter
Spread almond butter or cashew butter on a slice of whole grain bread. If the slices are big, cut in half for a snack. Try sprouted grain breads if your store offers them (they’re often in the freezer section). They can be easier to digest because they do not contain flours.

This one’s a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. Fruits are great to snack on and sometimes you just have to get creative with their display. For example, my Mom cut up apple and orange slices and assembled them into “Orange Apple Balls” for us to take to school. See my blog post on how to do it here. But, any fruits are great to snack on. Try making a big fruit salad on the weekend and it should stay fresh for days (avoid using banana until you’re ready to eat b/c it gets soggy). Put a scoop in a bowl, and it’s an easy snack. Or, make fruit skewers!

Leave me a comment if you enjoyed these or have great kid snack ideas of your own!
Wishing you well,
Laurel Moll, H.C., AADP
Follow LaurelMoll on Twitter

Healthy Snacks for Kids is a post from: Laurel On Health Food

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