Healthy Snacks for Kids (& How to Ensure Balance Every Time!)
Let’s face it, kids love to snack. Heck, grown-ups love to snack. The point of a snack is to give an energy boost to carry us over to the next meal time. Healthy snacks also help keep blood sugars level (think avoiding fatigue and stabilizing mood) while improving a slumping metabolism.
With all of the packaged stuff on the market, it’s hard to get out of the habit of reaching for the typical kid snacks. Unfortunately, these snacks are usually highly processed, high in fat (not the good kind) and have loads of refined sugar. And these are exactly the kind of factors that work against a high quality energy boost.
The key is to take a bit from the fat/protein group (nuts, cheese, beans, yogurt, eggs, lean and uncured meats, and seeds) and pair it with an option from the carbohydrate (grains, fruits and vegetables) group. Carbohydrates give quick energy, while the fat and protein help satiate hunger and help the carbohydrates not spike your blood sugar. Obviously, some options bring greater nutrition, yet the key is balance. Find foods in each of these groups that your child enjoys and try some additional boosters in the ideas below for extra nutrition.
(Foods in photo - clockwise: carrots, grapes, apples, celery, dried apricots, frozen raspberries, whole grain crackers, seeded crackers, rolled oats, shredded cheese, avocado, whole fat vanilla yogurt, shredded coconut, raw cashews, raw almonds, roasted pumpkin seeds, olives).
Below are some specific combinations that are quick, prepared under 5 minutes and provide a healthy option from packaged convenience foods. Allergy friendly options are included as well as boosted suggestions for extra nutrients!
Cottage cheese and almonds (or roasted seeds if nut allergy)
*boost – sprinkled super seed mixture
Carrots and black olives
*boost- wrap carrots in spinach or lettuce leaf
Avocado on whole grain toast (option for gluten free toast)
*boost – use sprouted seed crackers
Oatmeal and yogurt (option for coconut or non-dairy yogurt)
*boost – mix in 1 t. fish oil or flaxseed oil
Peanut butter (or a seed butter) and apple
*boost –mix in 1 t. super seed mixture or 1 t. flaxseed oil with peanut butter
NOTE: The bonus to this snacking philosophy and snack ideas is that they can apply to kids AND adults – healthy snacking for everyone!
Some healthy snack recipes & ideas: