As a former nanny, I used to love breaking out the mixing bowls and stirring up fun in the kitchen mid-day with the kids. Mixing, concocting, and mashing things up to teach them all about healthy snacking. That’s right…teaching kids how to have fun, be creative…AND eat healthy! Here are a few of my favorite fun ideas anyone can make!
Dip n’ Dunks: Every kid loves to play with their food, so instead of fighting it, embrace it. Dip it, dunk it, and bite into whole food goodness.
- Fruit kabobs (kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, bananas) dunked in low-fat Greek yogurt.
- Whole grain pita chips dipped into a creamy bean dip such as hummus, or colorful salsa.
- Carrots and pepper slices dunked into rich tasting guacamole.
- Crunchy multigrain pretzel rods dipped into almond butter or sun butter.
Grab n’ Go’s: These are perfect for snacking on the run! Just grab one, nosh, and enjoy the benefits of good health.
- Pack low-fat, no butter popcorn (my favorite happens to be Skinny Pop) into a sandwich baggie.
- In a small container mix together almonds and dried cherries. Perfect for 3pm sweet tooth cravings, or finger foods for little ones.
- Swipe a piece of fruit from the fruit bowl, a low-fat cheese stick, and a serving of whole grain crackers.
Chef’s Special: Still simple snack ideas, but might require a few extra minutes of creativity.
- Mini Pizzas: Toast a whole grain English Muffin, top with low-fat cheese, marinara sauce, and fresh veggies.
- Banana Split: Slice a banana in half, top with juicy strawberry slices, and low fat yogurt. For an added bonus: sprinkle Chia Seeds for “healthy” sprinkles. Your kids won’t be able to tell the difference.
- Smoothie Bowl: Whip up your favorite smoothie, but add frozen kale for a nutritional spin. Pour into a bowl and top with crunchy whole grain cereal, ground flax seeds, or Chia Seeds.
Bonus Tip: Teaching your kids good health now will have lasting benefits. Here’s one last tip to make snack time easier than ever.
- Create a snacking drawer or bin. Having a shelf in the fridge or cupboard dedicated to snacking allows you and your family to have readily available healthy choices. Have baggies of popcorn, servings of nuts and fruit, or a produce drawer filled with cut carrots and celery. Better yet, let your kids help you in making the snack bags! Kids are more willing to eat something if they helped prepare it.
Don’t forget to have fun with your food! After all sound nutrition and sound snacking is the basis for a healthy life!