Kids need snacks. We shouldn’t expect children to go longer than three to four hours between meals. In fact, going longer than that between meals is not recommended for adults either – six mini meals per day, or five meals with three of them bigger and two snacks, is ideal. The traditional model of “three square meals a day” is not necessarily the best model.
Obviously, when it comes to kids’ snacks, we want to provide them with healthy snacks. It’s certainly a balancing act between serving food they will eat, and food we know is good for them. Here’s a list of healthy snacks for kids that combine both – kids love them because they’re fun and tasty, and parents love them because they provide lots of energy and essential nutrients.
Banana Roll Up
This healthy kids’ snack is a true delicacy. Many grownups like it too, especially when it’s made with almond butter. Spread smooth peanut or almond butter and a dollop of chocolate spread such as Nutella on a warmed whole-wheat tortilla. Place a peeled banana on one side of the tortilla and roll up tightly. Cut into 8 slices.
Top whole wheat English muffin halves with jarred Marinara sauce or with ketchup. Sprinkle shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese on top. You may add toppings such as pitted black olives, or – better yet – fresh veggies, if your kids will eat them. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
Fruit and Cheese “Kabobs”
My kids love these. Thread cubed cheese (we alternate orange-colored cheddar and mozzarella to make it more interesting) and pieces of fruit (grapes, banana slices, apple cubes) on wooden skewers. Dip in honey-yogurt dip, made by mixing plain creamy yogurt with some honey).
When it comes to healthy snacks for kids, variety is key. I find that if I serve the same snack over and over again, even if it was a big hit the first time, my kids eventually tire of it and hardly touch it. I try to rotate the kids’ snacks and to make them not just healthy, but also fun and interesting!