Although it’s easy to grab a prepackaged snack for your child, processed snacks lack proper nutritional value and are often high in sugar. But by devoting time to making healthy snacks easily accessible, good food can be within arm’s reach for your child. Preparing healthy snacks with your kids will get them more excited about eating right.
There are many examples of quick, healthy snacks out there, many of which are accessible with the click of a mouse. Fresh fruit, cheese, and vegetables are all excellent choices. Below is an enjoyable option that can be prepared as a family. Furthermore, green vegetables can be added to create green smoothies. Adding spinach to a fruit smoothie doesn’t change the flavor of the drink, but provides an extra nutritional aspect. Here is an example:
Strawberry Cream Smoothie
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen mixed berries (the more berries added, the more purple it looks)
1 cup low-fat milk
1 cup V8 fusion fruit juice
1/4 cup fresh baby spinach (the more spinach added, the greener it looks)
Mix all ingredients in a blender with ice and serve with crazy straws or unique glasses for a fun twist on snack time.
Celery, peanut butter and raisins can be used to make ants on a log. Veggies can be dipped in peanut sauce, dip, salsa or hummus. Fruit goes well with yogurt and granola. A build-your-own parfait is also a great snack idea. Pita bread is a healthy alternative to white bread, which can also be used to make personal pizzas. Sweet potatoes can be thinly sliced, seasoned and baked for homemade (and healthy) potato chips. You can create additional healthy choices by putting fruit, cream cheese, nuts or yogurt on graham crackers. Cut food into different shapes or let kids use toothpicks to make the experience more fun.
It is important to introduce as many foods as possible, but nutritious options are key. Have fun getting creative and enjoy your healthy snacking.
What is your favorite healthy snack to make for your child? Share your recipe here:
Amy Bontempo is the Manager of Family and Community Engagement at Penfield Children’s Center. She supervises the Community Outreach Educator, Volunteer Coordinator, Parent Mentor Program, and Family Programs of which Penfield host over 60 per year. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Down Syndrome Association (DSAW) of Wisconsin since 2011 and previously served on the Volunteer Respite Committee for Children’s Service Society now part of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services, and the Family Resource Connection of Milwaukee Co.
“32 Healthy Kids Snacks.” Parenting. <http://www.parenting.com/gallery/healthy-kids-snacks>
Family Sponge. <www.familysponge.com>