Healthy School Snacks To Motivate Your Kids
Kids snack now more than they ever did, taking in enough calories to make a fourth meal. Sugary, calorie-laden foods lack important nutrients that can help a child’s body and mind work well. Kids need calcium, Vitamin D, potassium, and fiber to help them learn, play and grow. Getting your kids to eat healthy will not only help them stay alert at school and have energy for after school activities, but will hep them form good eating habits for the rest of their life.
Kids should have snacks that are packed with protein and fiber to help them stay fuller longer, and packed with nutrients to help them be mentally and physically active. Here are some nutritious snacks that you and your kids can make and bring to school.
Whole grain cereals with low fat milk make a good snack. Look for low sugar cereals, preferably with less than eight grams of fat. Whole grain crackers can be paired with string cheese or peanut butter, or other nut butters, or can be served alone. Granola and cereal bars can be good in moderation, just be aware of the sugar content. Keep the fat and sugar content low, and get ones that are made from whole grains. Rice cakes can be good alone, or spread with nut butter. Low fat popcorn is good, or even better, air pop some and flavor it yourself.
Veggie pitas are a great snack choice. Spread a little hummus in a pocket, and add the salad veggies of their choice. Many vegetables are good served raw alone, or with a little dip. Cut up some carrots, celery sticks, cucumber, broccoli, peppers, yellow squash and zucchini or pack some green beans, pea pods or snow peas. Serve with a little hummus dip, guacamole, salsa, or nut butters. Make a small salad for your child to munch on. Prepare ants on a log, made with celery spread with peanut butter, and raisins sprinkled on top.
Dried fruits are easy to pack, but can be high in sugar so watch portion sizes. Try freezing grapes and berries for a different take on a favorite snack. Fruit leathers can be very high in sugar and low in actual fruit. Read your labels to know which ones are best. Make a fruit salad for your child to eat. Make smoothies by blending fruit, yogurt or milk and ice. Most fruit makes a great snack just whole, cut in wedges or cubed. Try apples, bananas, berries, cantaloupe, cherries, grapes, kiwis, oranges, mangoes, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, or watermelon.
Yogurt is a great snack choice, but be sure to read labels and choose brands that are low in sugar and fat and high in calcium. Cheese like mozzarella, Laughing Cow, and BabyBel are good choices. Low fat pudding and frozen yogurt can be served in moderation.
By using your imagination and sticking to healthy snack choices, you can instill a love for good, nutritious food in your child. He will be able to concentrate better in school and have enough energy to get him through the day.