When it comes to our children’s diet, it’s only natural that we want to give them the best.
All kids love snacks, but we are used to relating that word with tremendous amounts of sugar, fat and other foods with a low nutrient density.
Obesity in the US is a very serious issue; for instance, according to “The State of Obesity” project from the Trust for America’s Health, in 2017, “14.8 percent of high school students were obese, and an additional 15.6 percent were overweight”.
This problem can be attacked if we make the habit of eating well since our children are small. One way to do it is not giving them snacks without any nutritional value. An ice cream or a small bag of chips once in a while won’t do much harm; the problem is when those unhealthy snacks become a daily food.
Snacks shouldn’t just be empty calories. They are an excellent way to fill in the nutrition gaps that children can have, at the same time as giving them extra fuel for growing strong and healthy.
Here are 10 ideas for healthy, quick and easy snacks you kids for sure will love. Remember that presentation is key! If you make food that looks fun, your children will be excited to eat it.
Fruit ice pops
Ice pops are easy, quick and you can know exactly what goes into them. Also, you can get creative and make unusual but delicious combinations. Think about using fruits like berries, kiwi, and mango, and add water, natural orange juice or nonfat Greek yogurt.
A fruit smoothie can also be a tasty healthy snack. Toss in a blender Greek yogurt, orange juice, frozen berries and banana, and you’ll have a delicious treat.
Kale chips and dip
Jam-packed with vitamins, antioxidants and lots of other nutrients, kale is the superfood rockstar. What about a small bowl of kale chips accompanied by a healthy dip like hummus for an afternoon snack?
Guacamole and nopal tortilla chips
Who doesn’t love guacamole? Change the kale chips for some nopal tortilla chips and the hummus for guacamole, and you’ll have a pretty healthy Mexican snack. Add some extra fun to this snack by inviting your kids to mash the avocados!
For more Mexican-style snacks, make quesadillas! You only need two ingredients: tortilla (preferably nopal tortilla) and cheese. Simple, but delicious.
Jicama is a root vegetable native to Mexico that is packed with nutrients, and it’s quite fun to eat. It is juicy, sweet and fresh. Cut it into sticks and toss with lime juice and a bit of salt.
Apple moons with almond butter
Slice an apple into crescent moons shape and spread with almond or peanut butter. For an extra boost, you can add some granola on top.
Did we say pizza? Yes!
Grab a whole-grain pita and top it with tomatoes and other veggies like peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms. Sprinkle a little cheese, bake it in the oven, and voila! You have a healthy pizza!
Whole-grain crackers dessert
Top some whole-grain crackers with cranberry sauce, add very thin apple slices and a little cheddar cheese. Broil to melt the cheese and the result is a savory, satisfying quick snack-dessert.
Take some small cucumbers and halve them lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and fill the hole with a mix made with yogurt, a pinch of salt and a dash of cumin.