Young children derive 25% of their daily calories from snacks, but do we put as much thought into the snacks we serve our children as we do for the meals we serve them? Many quick-fix, pre-packaged snack products are actually fairly low in nutritional value. Here are some healthy snack ideas:
Peanut Butter Treats
Peanut butter is full of protein and makes an excellent energy-boosting snack when spread on whole-grain crackers. It also goes well with fruit and vegetables: dab it on apple slices, smear it on a celery stick or spread it on a piece of whole-grain toast and top it with banana slices.
Cheese on Anything
Low-fat cheese has lots of protein and calcium as well. Kids love string cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, American cheese---the list goes on. Give them a small bowl of cottage cheese and let them scoop it up with whole-grain crackers or a bowl of cottage cheese mixed with applesauce. Cream cheese on a celery stick is a good option if your child is allergic to peanut butter. Melt some cheese on a whole wheat tortilla and slice it like a pizza---top it with some turkey pepperoni for extra pizzazz.
Fruit and Yogurt
Whip up a smoothie in the blender with low-fat milk and yogurt, fruit and ice. Use bananas or frozen strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or peaches. For a special treat, blend in a few semi-sweet chocolate chips. Or, rather than a smoothie, let the kids dip graham crackers into vanilla yogurt, either with or without fruit mixed into it.
Trail Mix and Granola
Make an easy trail mix for your kids with a healthy oat, graham or granola breakfast cereal. Add some dried cranberries or raisins, sunflower seeds and a few pretzel sticks. Mix some granola into low-fat yogurt for another crunchy-sweet, healthy snack.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/230223-easy-to-make-nutritious-snacks-for-kids/#ixzz1qKgygl2a
Katherine Generaux, Community Inclusion Director