The Importance of Easy Healthy Snacks for Kids
There’s no shortage of snacks for kids available. Just a quick walk down the grocery aisle is accompanied by screaming slogans and colors promising treats guaranteed to please your little ones.
But all that glitters isn’t gold. Snacks dripping with sugars and saturated fats hidden behind pretty colors and bright advertising are easy, but they’re not healthy — and you want what’s best for your kids.
So what’s a parent to do when you want to make sure your kids are eating healthy but you’re short on supply? We have some strategies and suggestions for easy, healthy snacks that you and your kids will love.
How to Prepare Easy, Healthy Snacks for Kids
Easy, healthy snacks for kids are not too different from those for adults. The main factor is portion size: a healthy snack can quickly become not-so-healthy in the wrong portion. It may seem like a no-brainer, but just think how often we mistake portion sizes for ourselves.
Rather than depend on the portion sizes you find in stores, think about the needs of your child at a given time of day. You’ll want something smaller than a real meal but large enough to satisfy your child’s hunger until mealtime rolls around.
Try nutrient dense, easy, healthy snacks like celery and peanut butter, greek yogurt with fruit, or nuts. Pack the snacks in small containers that you can easily take from the fridge and keep with you on the go. For yogurt bowls, you might even use a reusable container with a spoon attached to make things even easier.
And don’t be afraid of keeping your snacks varied as well. A small bag of homemade trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, and toasted oats can provide a balanced set of nutrients that’s healthy but make you won’t break a sweat putting it together.
Getting Kids Involved in Snacking
One of the ways you can make snacking easier is to delegate the task of making the snacks to your kids. Kids who help in preparation of their own easy, healthy snacks grow confidence in their cooking skills and learn to eat healthily from a young age.
Nutrient dense energy bites are a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen. Just combine their favorite nut butter, dried fruit, and toasted oats for a treat that’s easy, delicious, and fun to make.
Better yet, have your kids pick out what they want to put into the energy bites when you take them to the store. This not only makes them more likely to eat these snacks, but also allows them to gain more familiarity with their food.
Who knows? You might just end up training your own sous chef!
Creativity in the Kitchen
Getting kids involved in preparing snacks brings up the importance of creativity in child development. A child that has the space to creatively explore, whether that be through music, art, or even cooking, is often a child who grows with more self-esteem, self-efficacy, and intelligence.
Allowing your child to have a role in the creation of their own easy, healthy snacks gives them an opportunity to develop not just an awareness of what they are putting in their own bodies, but also a way to develop mentally for years to come.
Take an Active Role
The best way to get your kids to eat healthy is to eat easy, healthy snacks yourself. Kids learn by example after all, and you’re their number one role model. Rather than looking at that position with anxiety, look at it as an opportunity: you can care for your own body while teaching your children to care for theirs as well.
Rather than dousing your popcorn in butter for family movie night, use some light cooking spray and throw in some fresh parsley, grated parmesan, or even some nutritional yeast for a vegan option with a cheesy, nutty flair. You’ll find that this snack is loaded with flavor without the unnecessary serving of fats.
Avoid the nicknamed “picky eater syndrome” with foods that are not only healthy, but fun looking. Cut vegetables into fun shapes or add little faces with nuts and dried fruit. Be sure to keep them cut small and thin so that foods don’t appear too intimidating, and then engage with your kids during snacktime to make eating healthy a fun experience.
And don’t be afraid to be adventurous with your kids! Make trying new fruits like dragon fruit a weekly adventure that you both can journey on. Pretend to be fancy food critics as you rate the new foods — and if your kids don’t like dragon fruit? That’s okay! There are many more easy, healthy snacks for them to love.
At Outstanding Foods, our favorite healthy snack is our Pigless Pork Rinds! These plant-based, easy, healthy snacks are packed with flavors like Nacho Cheese and Texas BBQ without all the saturated fat and sodium contained in traditional pork rinds. They’re perfect for lunch boxes, family movie nights, or wherever your adventure may take you.
Preparing easy, healthy snacks for kids can be a great way to bond with your kids while staying healthy yourself. It’s also a fun way to help your kids grow strong both physically and mentally as they learn how to select foods that make them feel good inside and out.