Healthy snack ideas for your kids
With your kids back in school you’re likely thinking about how to make healthy snack ideas and lunches they’ll actually eat. Maybe you’ve fallen into the habit of eating junk food over the summer and need to get back on track or perhaps you’re working on improving everyone’s diet for the first time.
Fruits and veggies paired with something sweet
Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of any healthy diet and should be your starting point for snacks and lunches. Many of these options will work both after school and in lunchboxes.
Start with the foods your kids like and get them involved in creating and preparing their own healthy snack ideas. For picky eaters pair fruits and vegetables with more comfortable foods. For example:
- Strawberries with vanilla yogurt for dipping
- Mini chocolate chips inside raspberries
- Graham crackers with apple slices or applesauce
- Carrot sticks celery or bell peppers with hummus or ranch dressing
- Popcorn with nuts and dried fruit
- Bread with banana slices and honey or peanut butter
When packing lunches add some cheese or deli meat and whole wheat crackers to complete the meal. Dips are a great way to encourage your kids to eat fruits and vegetables but they should be used in moderation.
Cookies and muffins with hidden surprises
Baked goods provide an easy way to hide healthy ingredients and they give your kids something familiar to eat. According to Spark Recipes creative breakfast cookies can get your kids excited about eating healthy. They have wheat germ and ricotta cheese for added protein.
Super Healthy Kids published a muffin recipe with fruits and vegetables hidden inside like spinach. Cornell University found that kids are more likely to choose a healthy option if they thought a role model such as a superhero would eat it. For younger kids calling the spinach muffins a fun name can increase the likelihood they’ll try them.
Most cookies muffins and bars can be baked in a large batch on weekends and frozen in smaller groups so they last throughout the week. A couple muffins with carrot sticks and hummus yogurt and watermelon chunks makes a great lunch.
Most people need untold amounts of patience to continue chopping baking and arranging these foods only to have them turned down or come home in the lunchbox day after day. Celebrate the small wins when your kids try a new food or actually finish the whole lunch. Keep offering healthy foods — those familiar and some less familiar — and remember to model those same habits yourself. Your kids will come around slowly.
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