Healthy Snack Ideas!
Are you running out of good ideas for kids' snacks? You don't want to just give them a snack, of course, you want them to be healthy! Even healthy food could give you tummy aches if overeaten, so be careful! but here are some that could help you.
They are naturally sweet, so most kids love it! Fruit can be served whole, sliced, cut in half, cubed or in wedges. Canned, frozen and dried fruits often need little preparation.(that's what moms want!)
* Apple Sauce (unsweetened), Fruit cups, and Canned fruit
* Dried Fruit: Try Raisins, apples, apricots, cranberries, pineapple, papayas, etc with little or no added sugars
* Frozen fruit: try freezing grapes or blueberries, strawberries, peaches, mangoes and melon. You can also purchase these frozen fruit at a local supermarket.
* Fruit Salad: Get kids to make the fruit salad and have fun!
*Popsicles: Look for Popsicles made from 100% fruit juice with no added caloric sweeteners, like Breyers or Dole "No added Sugar" fruit bars.
Here is a couple of Popsicle recipe you might like:
Triple Berry Pops
Berries are excellent sources of anthocyanins, potent antioxidants that fight disease and are best preserved when frozen.
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed
½ to 1 cup frozen white grape juice concentrate
Coconut milk and banana give these ice pops a creamy consistency without dairy or soy. Be sure to puree the mixture until very smooth so resulting pops don’t contain crunchy bits that may be too icy for sensitive baby teeth.
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1 large banana, sliced
¾ cup light coconut milk
¼ to ½ cup agave nectar
Puree all ingredients in blender 1 to 2 minutes, or until mixture is smooth. Ladle into ice pop molds, (or ice cube trays) and freeze at least 4 hours. Run molds under warm water to unmold.
Peaches and Cream Pops
To get a dose of dairy in these frozen treats, substitute low-fat vanilla yogurt for the vanilla soy milk.
2 large peaches, peeled and sliced (2 cups), or 2 cups frozen frozen sliced peaches, thawed.
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1/3 to 2/3 cup agave nectar
Puree all ingredients in blender 1 to 2 minutes, or until mixture is smooth. Ladle into ice pop molds (or ice cube trays) and freeze at least 4 hours. Run molds under warm water to unmold.
Smoothies: Blend fruit with yogurt, milk, juice and ice. Many store bought smoothies have added sugars thus do not make them a healthy snack.
Vegetables can be served raw with dip or salad dressing!
Dips: Try low-fat or fat-free Ranch, or Thousand Island, home-made or store bought Guacamole, bean dips, hummus, salsa or peanut butter. Kids love peanut butter with celery !
Have you heard of Edamame? They are fun to eat and easy to serve! You can buy a bag of frozen Edamame at a local supermarket. Heat frozen Edamame in the microwave or in the boiling water for less than 5 min. Sprinkle salt lightly and pop them into your mouth!
Cut whole wheat pitas in half and let kids add veggies with dressing, guacamole or hummus.
Healthy Grains (bread, crackers, cereals, etc..)
Though most kids eat plenty of grain products, too many of those grains are high in sugars or fat as in cookies, snack cakes, sugary cereals, rice krispy treats and others. Try to serve mostly whole grains, which provide more fiber, vitamins and minerals. Keep those treats for special occasions!
Go Whole Wheat: Choose Whole Wheat bread, English muffins, pita or tortillas. Stuff them with veggies or dip them hummus or bean dip.
Breakfast cereal: Choose whole grain cereals like Cheerios, Grape-nuts, Raisin Bran, frosted mini or regular shredded wheats and Wheaties, the ones with no more than 8grams of sugar per serving.
Crackers, Rice Cakes & Baked Tortilla Chips: You can find variety of flavors of Whole-grain crackers or thin crisps! They are yummy, good-for-you snacks with low-fat cheese, peanut butter, or low-fat cream cheese. Look for rice cakes made from brown (whole grain) rice. Baked Tortillas are great with salsa or guacamole.
Granola and Cereal Bars: Look for whole grain, low-fat, low-sugar granola bars such as Nature Valley Crunchy Granola bars, Chewy Trail Mix Bars, and Quaker Chewy Granola Bar.
Pretzels, Breadsticks, and Flatbreads: Look for low-fat, whole-grain breads. Lesser in sugar and salt, the better as they are frequently high in these contents.
Low-Fat Dairy Foods
Dairy foods are a great source of calcium, which can help to build strong bones, but dairy products are the biggest sources of artery-clogging saturated fat in kids' diets. To protect children's bones and hearts, choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
Yogurt: Look for low-fat, or fat-free, moderate in sugars (no more than about 30grams of sugars in a 6 oz cup.) and high in calcium (at least 25% of daily value in a 6oz cup.)
Low-Fat Cheese: Even with low-fat and reduced-fat cheese, it is the number two source of heart-damaging saturated fat in children's diets. Be sure to serve with other foods like fruit, vegetables or whole grain crackers.
Nuts and Trail mix: Nuts are high in calories, so small handful of nuts is enough. Trail mix are easy to make and store well in a sealed container or vacuum pack.