One in five school-age children has up to six snacks a day. While growing kids sometimes need to eat more often than adults, especially when activity levels are high, snacking should not be an all-day invitation to graze. Plan snack time and remember to keep portion sizes small and focus on fruits and vegetables. Snacks are just to boost energy and “hold you over” until the next meal.
Here are some tips for easy, healthy on-the-go snacks for kids:
- Whole fruit or 100% fruit leather is an easy grab-and-go snack. Combine it with a low-fat cheese stick for a tasty, kid-friendly combination.
- Dried fruits come in many different varieties from cherries to bananas and are easy to add to whole grain cereals for a trail mix. Look for cereals with less than six grams of sugar per serving. Or, instead of dried fruit, offer a single serving squeeze pouch of unsweetened applesauce or other fruit for a young child.
- Sliced vegetables are always a good snack choice. If plain vegetables don’t go over very well, try a healthy dip option to go along with them like hummus, greek yogurt, black bean dip, low-fat ranch dip, or peanut butter.
- Snack kabobs can be made with fruit or vegetables. Mix in some low-fat cheese cubes and keep them fun and colorful for an irresistible snack on the go.
- Blend together a quick smoothie with your favorite frozen fruit and low fat yogurt.
- Roll together your favorite lunch meat, low-fat cheese and veggies in lettuce for a fun and easy lettuce wrap as a fun replacement for your classic sandwich.
By Shannon Carney Oleksyk, registered dietitian and healthy living advisor for social mission at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Photo credit: Defense Commissary Agency