If your kids act like maniacs after snacktime, here are some doable alternatives to keep them fueled all day in a healthy way
It’s an unfortunate fact that most packaged snacks marketed toward kids are some of the most unhealthy foods in the grocery store. Added sugars and sweeteners, dyes, trans-fats, preservatives and other additives — kids’ snacks are full of ’em, and they are implicated in contributing to hyperactivity, behavioral issues, gastrointestinal discomfort, obesity and hormone dysfunction. Processed, sugary granola bars, cookies, candies and crackers bring kids up and then back down, turning even the cutest angels into cranky, tired, hungry and restless beings.
Yet, we get the struggle: Your days are busy, and the kids are always getting hungry on the go, and It’s easy to grab whatever they’re whining for at the store. However, with a little planning (really, just a little!), you can have healthy alternatives on hand.
Kids need need protein, fat and fiber to give them sustained energy and keep them satisfied until the next meal. Here are some of our favorite, doable snacks that fit the bill:
- Celery, carrots, apple, pear, peach, or banana spread with nut butter
- Veggies and hummus
- Plain, full-fat yogurt (if dairy is tolerated) with berries, apple, or other fruit
- Homemade trail mix: coconut flakes, nuts and seeds with a small amount of unsweetened dried fruit (or give them some fresh fruit on the side)
- Chia pudding made with almond or coconut milk, vanilla extract and a small amount of maple syrup. Top with fruit of choice. The best part: you can make a big batch to have all week!
- Popsicles made from blended fruit and coconut milk or yogurt
- Unwrapp’d Nutrition Bar Dough – kids will love eating these energy bites and forming them into fun shapes. You can also take them on the go as they come in a convenient, multi-serving jar.
How to get kids on board with healthy snacks
- Keep cut-up veggies, fruit and dips visible in the fridge and on a shelf where they can grab them
- Put out a range of toppings for chia pudding, yogurt, etc. and let kids pick the ones that they want
- Let kids help out with mixing chia pudding, trail mix and other snacks. They’ll love being part of the process!
Making healthy snack swaps takes just a little bit of effort, and you’ll feel so much better giving your kids whole foods instead of science experiments. To learn more about making over your family’s nutrition, click here to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation with a Healthy Nest holistic nutritionist.
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Hi! I’m Robin, the founder of Healthy Nest Nutrition. I am a board-certified holistic nutritionist in Denver, Colorado. My passion is helping people find the right diet for their bodies and then showing them how to make healthy nutrition doable and delicious!