Tackle snack time in an easy, stress-free way by trying these new tips, and encouraging your children to help prepare their own snacks and lunches!
As a parent, you may find it challenging to provide your children with healthy, tasty and creative snacks during the school year. Time constraints, picky eaters, food budgets, and limited ideas are a few barriers that you may face during the school year when planning and preparing snacks. Overcome these barriers by trying one of these quick and easy snacks this school year.
Combine healthy whole-wheat crackers with cheese, peanut butter, or hummus.
Look for crackers such as Triscuits, Ak-Mak, Rye Krisps, or Breton. Choose crackers that contain no partially or fully hydrogenated oil and have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Peanut butter and hummus are great toppings packed with healthy fats!
Cut up veggies and choose a dip.
Baby carrots, grape tomatoes, green or red sweet pepper slices or other cut-up vegetables with low-fat dressing or hummus. Add whole grain crackers, pretzels or pita chips for additional crunch and flavor! This is a colorful and tasty snack packed with fiber and vitamins such as vitamins A and C.
Pair grains, protein, and fruit.
Fruit sushi , apple with cheese and pita, fruit with pretzels (e.g. Synder’s of Hanover whole grain varieties, Utz, Nature’s Promise), a granola bar (e.g. Nature Valley, Kashi, or Full Circle), or whole grain cereal (e.g. Cheerios, Corn, Rice or Wheat Chex, Kashi Heart-to-Heart Cereal, Barbara’s Bakery Puffins or Shredded Spoonfuls, or Kix) are great choices. Purchase small, reusable containers for the pretzels or cereal. This will encourage children to take home what they do not finish and teaches them to not waste food.
Let kids build their own snacks.
Pack celery sticks or pretzel logs, peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese or hummus and raisins and have them make “ants on a log”.
Make crunchy fruit dippers with cut-up fruit and a container of yogurt.
Try low-fat yogurt or Greek yogurts and compare labels for the lowest sugar content. Slices of apple, orange, banana, peach, plum, strawberries or grapes are tasty and simple fruit options! Fill a small reusable container or plastic bag with yogurt toppings such as your child’s favorite cereal (e.g. Cheerios, Rice, Wheat or Corn Chex, Grape Nuts, or bran flakes), milled flax seed, wheat germ, low-fat granola, oatmeal, and/or sunflower seeds. Show children how to spear a piece of fruit with their fork (hands also work well but it can be quite messy), dip it in the yogurt and then dunk it in a crispy topping. This is a delicious and creative snack that the whole family will enjoy!
Give your children the ingredients to build their own yogurt and fruit pile-ups!
Pack a container of yogurt with berries (look for fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries) and granola or their favorite crunchy cereal in individual, reusable containers.
The possibilities for snacks are endless! Be creative, ask your children for their input and make preparing snacks a fun activity for you and your children. Use this time together to talk, share stories, solve problems or simply be together.
For more snack time fun see 50 Snacks your Kids will Love, Healthy Fun Snacks and Desserts for the Whole Family and Super Snacks for Your Super Kid.