But first, I feel like I should make a couple of confessions.
First, as much as I try to get my kids eating healthy snacks, I'm not so good at it myself. You will often catch me snacking while the boys nap, so I can sneak ice cream or nachos without them seeing! I crave stuff that is just not good for me. I think that is in fact part of the reason I am trying so hard to make healthy foods an integral part of our day-to-day - I hope that if these are the foods the boys are familiar with, it will be what they crave as adults too.
Second, I would be a total fraud if I had you all thinking my kids eat carrots for dessert. They both inherited my insane sweet tooth and we have "treats" on a daily basis. At one point Zippy expected a treat after every meal, but we've cut that down to once a day, usually after dinner. One thing I've realized is that kids are usually happy with small portions, so whereas I would eat an entire package of M&Ms, they are happy with a little handful.
Okay, so now that I've come clean, on to the topic at hand! As I said, these are easy, no-fuss snacks. Once you get them home from the grocery store, there is nothing to do but pull them out of the cupboard when the kids get hungry.
|A few faves. No fruit today - we ate it all!|
- Apple sauce, ideally organic & unsweetened. Sprinkle a little cinnamon in for flavor, if you like. Nature's Promise is very affordable and comes in single serving containers, which are easy although not as "green" as buying a jar.
- Yogurt. You can throw in a few berries or some granola. My kids are happy with it plain!
- Cereal bars. My new favorite brand - since starting our healthy groceries project - are Barbara's because they don't cost much more than Nutrigrain bars, use whole grains, and I can actually pronounce the ingredients. Also, they do come in organic (which is something to consider when the fruit filling is something like apple or blueberry that tends to be high in pesticides).
- Fresh fruit. Low or no prep fruits to try are bananas, clementines or oranges, raisins, plums, peaches, apples, pears, grapes, and berries. My boys' new favorite is blackberries.Toss in a bowl, rinse, and serve.
- Raw veggies. Low or no prep include baby carrots, broccoli, and celery.
- Peanut butter. Peanut butter is a great addition to other snacks. Spread it on apples, celery, or crackers. Zippy will eat anything if has peanut butter on it.
- Hummous with whole grain crackers. This is one of my favorites! Open the container and a box of crackers. Voila! Bee likes to lick the hummous off the cracker and double-dip.
- Nuts. Peanuts, cashews, whatever! Look for unsalted.
Many of these snacks also travel well. I am always grabbing bananas or cereal bars before we head out somewhere, so that if the kids get hungry I can hold them off until we get home to eat and I don't get sucked into stopping for fast food. Last week, I filled a little bag with some items that won't go "bad" (boxes of raisins, cereal bars, and juice boxes) to keep in the car.
So, there you go! I hope this list is helpful and inspires families to work toward healthy choices!
What are your family's favorite healthy, low-fuss snacks?
I mention a couple of brands in this post. Those are just my personal preferences and I was not compensated in any way for mentioning them.