Snacks for Busy Kids
Healthy snacking should be a daily part of your growing child’s life. In fact, studies show that snacking is vital for growth and development during childhood because, not only do little ones burn through energy much quicker than adults; they also get hungry again much sooner between meals as the body demands calories, nutrients, and hydration between meal times. That means the snacks you feed your growing child should focus on a balanced combination of protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
Here are a few healthy snack options to satisfy a busy child:
1. Pears and cottage cheese
Most kids are used to eating pears from an early age as this fruit is a common addition to baby foods. So it’s likely that they’ll be drawn to this sweet treat as they grow. Sliced pears offer a great source of fiber, add some cottage cheese and place the pear slices on top for a delicious source of calcium and protein to support growing bones and muscles.
2. Ants on a log
Even the most picky eaters will love this creatively named snack. While doctors used to advise not feeding infants nuts just in case of allergies, newer research shows that introducing nuts at an early age actually reduces the risk of nut allergies in kids. So whip up a batch of ants on a log spreading a healthy fatty nut butter (i.e., natural peanut, almond, or cashew butter) over celery sticks and sprinkling with raisins or craisins (dried cranberries) for the treasure trove of antioxidants and fiber within.
3. Yogurt, fruit, and granola
This super satisfying snack blends the goodness of whole grains (i.e., oats and granola), lean protein (i.e., Greek yogurt) and fiber (i.e., fresh chopped fruit and berries). In fact, you can make a fun parfait out of this concoction that resembles a dessert. Just layer your ingredients in a tall clear sundae bowl. Be sure to sprinkle some cinnamon on top for natural sweetness.
4. Veg and hummus pita pockets
While certain kids turn their nose up at the first sight of vegetables, these fun pita pockets wrap up a thick layer of hummus and sliced tomato, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, and baby spinach. You can even add cheese for more minerals and vitamins (and to cover any trace of veggies) so the kids won’t even know they’re eating a healthy snack.
5. Protein energy bites
Portable snacks are vital for kids on the go. What are you going to feed your little ones as they’re running around at the park or playing soccer or baseball? Luckily, this protein and fibrous snack is jam-packed with natural sugars (i.e., honey and cinnamon), healthy fat (i.e., coconut oil or dried coconut flakes), protein (i.e., natural nut butter) and whole grains (i.e., rice cereal, oats). You can make them up ahead of time and share them with the whole team or freeze a batch to have on hand for after-school snacking.