The key to healthy snacking is always being prepared. Incorporate snacks into your weekly menu planning, and you’ll be ahead of the game all week.
Keep it Simple
Sometimes the best snack is the easiest one. Pick one or two nights a week to make your own snack packs. Organic baby carrots go great with dips. I like to portion them out into small re-closable bags, or other containers.
If you have more than one child you can even let each one decorate a box to hold their snacks in the fridge. It makes snack time more exciting for them, and can help eliminate confusion at snack time. Plus, older kids can just reach into the fridge and get their own snack.
Cut up celery, green pepper strips, apples, pears, and other fresh produce that your kids like. If your child has trouble with fresh produce, try making art with the cut up fruit and veggies. The Disney site has great ideas to make faces, flowers, even snow pea flying fish.
Don’t forget the traditional ants on a log. Peanut butter filled celery sticks topped with raisins or craisins.
Make yogurt parfaits by layering fresh, or thawed frozen, fruit in between vanilla yogurt. Girls especially love colored yogurts that you can make by pureeing fruit into vanilla yogurt. Store in a container, or in cool tall non-breakable glasses covered with some plastic wrap.
Bake extra sweet potatoes over the weekend, then warm them up during the week. Topped with a little brown sugar and cinnamon creates a nutritious snack that tastes just like dessert.
Dipping is always fun, plus you can pack extra nutrients in dips your little ones already love. Try adding roasted red pepper or spinach into your hummus. Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to get some probiotics in your family the easy way.
Smoothies are great for days that you have as little as 10 minutes to throw a few things into a blender. I keep frozen fruit on my weekly shopping list, so I can make a smoothie on a moments notice. Don’t forget that a frozen banana thrown in the blender by itself makes a great faux ice cream too!
A sweet frozen drink is the perfect place to sneak in some spinach or avocado. Name it after your kid’s favorite green cartoon character and you’ll have a hit.
Pump up the typical peanut butter and jelly. One way to freshen it is to add slices of apples, pears, or bananas. Another way is to use waffles instead of bread
Use tortillas instead of bread to make roll-up sandwiches that you can cut into pinwheels. Parents magazine has a great recipe for one using fresh pear slices and cheese
Whole wheat English muffins are another way to add whole grains to snack time. One of my favs is to make pizzas with them by topping with pizza sauce and shredded cheese. Sneak extra vitamins into your pizza sauce by pureeing some spinach or Swiss chard into it for a potassium punch.
When you have time, bake double batches of healthy recipes and freeze individual servings that you can thaw out the night before in the refrigerator. Remember that you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour in any recipe to make it healthier