School will be out soon, kids will be spending more time in the sunshine, going on adventures and using more energy. To ensure your kids are well-fueled for those fun-filled summer adventures, and Active SWV activities they need some nutrient rich snacks on hand. Healthy snacks are a great way to help children receive adequate amounts of vital nutrients throughout the day to ensure growth and development and boost their immune system. So, what are some healthy, simple options you can offer your children? Here are some that are healthy and kid-friendly.
- Fresh fruit- Keep a bowl of fruit out on the counter for all to see and make the healthy choice the easy choice. To involve the kiddos or make it fun, make a fruit and cheese kabob.
- Fresh vegetables-Serve with hummus or vegetable dip made with plain yogurt and ranch seasoning (or make your own seasoning). Carrots, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and peppers are all great veggies that travel well and are easy to dip. Plus, kids love to dip!
- Trail mix-Throw together dried fruit, whole grain cereal, pretzels and nuts of your choice.
- Popcorn-This all-time favorite movie snack is also a whole grain option that is unprocessed, rich in fiber, contains folate, niacin and minerals like iron. Check out these recipes for a delicious sweet and savory popcorn treat.
- Cheese sticks-This grab-n-go snack provides protein, calcium and vitamin D to help boost bone health. Roll it up in a tortilla and put it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds for a cheesy wrap!
- When buying convenience snacks, look for those high in fiber (>10%) and low in sugar (<10%). Some of my favorite prepackaged snacks are yogurt tubes (check out the sugar content and be wary of cartoon characters marketing to your kiddos and there’s no fruit in the strawberry flavoring), Fig bars, pretzels and peanut butter crackers.
These are only a few healthful snack options for the summer season. Kids will eat what’s available to them and easy to grab. If it’s a bag of chips in plain view, that’s what they’ll go for, if you have a bowl of fruit and/or veggies cut up, they’ll eat those. It’s also a good idea to not eat in front of the TV, phone, tablet or computer-this typically leads to mindless eating and overconsumption for both kids and adults. I also like to give my kiddos frozen fruit as a refreshing treat on a hot day. Kids love frozen grapes, cherries, and blueberries, which make for a perfect, bite sized treat on a hot day. Kids can even make their own frozen goodness by freezing a banana on a popsicle stick and then dipping it in plain yogurt and rolling it in granola and/or chopped nuts or dip it in dark chocolate and sprinkles for a sweet treat.
Encouraging kids to make their own healthy snacks accomplishes two things, it gives them ownership of their health, and empowers and boost their confidence in the kitchen. Kids and parents alike will not only see healthful snacks as a great way to alleviate a hot afternoon, but will also see the impact of this habit in the long run. Choosing healthy snacks can help with disease prevention and healthful aging, as well as helping kids to form healthier habits they can take with them throughout life. Here at Active SWV we want to promote confidence and build kids up and provide avenues such as the Kids Run Club, as well as simple nutrition tips like healthy snacks to boost their health in the process.Share