Sunday, October 17, 2010

SPB's Top Five Healthy Snacks For Kids

Most parents with children spend a good amount of time worrying about what our children eat.  Do they get enough fruit? Veggies?  Calcium?  Protein?  Are their nutrition needs being met?  And what's with all those additives in food?  It scares me to think about some of the additives in commercially prepared food. If I can't  pronounce it, I don't want to eat it and I certainly don't want to feed it to my babies.  So what to feed them? 

Our Top Five Healthy Snacks for Kids
1) Popcorn.  Who doesn't love it.  There are all natural varieties that are DELICIOUS.  They actually taste like salty corn. Yum-o!  Orville Redenbacher  All Natural Lightly Salty is a fav at our house.

2)  Trail Mix.  I prefer to make my own.  The beauty of this is that you can't go wrong and you can choose your family's favorites.  I typically make mine with raisins, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, rolled oats - you get the idea.
3) Any of the above ingredients in trail mix make awesome snacks on their own. 
4) Fruit/ Veggies.  Fruits are sweet and refreshing and most kids will eat it if you give it to them.  Crunchy apples, sweet bananas, kiwis, pineapple, grapes and melons have great nutritional value and they are delicious.  Focus on what's in season for the best taste and best price. Veggie snacks - Carrot sticks, cucumber slices,  sweet grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, etc  are all delicious on their own and even better with a dip like hummus or even ranch dressing.   The secret to making fruits and veggies a QUICK snack anytime is to prep them when you get home from the store. This way they are ready in a second when your kids are hungry.  Chop the veggies/ fruits and store them in individual containers accessible to your children.
5) Low fat Dairy.  Yogurt, cheese sticks, and low fat milk are all wonderful snack options.   Yogurt parfaits' with sliced berries and some homemade trail mix sprinkled on top makes an awesome snack and a yummy breakfast!
With a little thought and planning, your kids can reach for a healthy snack option easier than they can grab the commercially prepared variety!  Enjoy!

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