Snack Swaps: Help Kids Eat Healthy All Summer

A Healthier Michigan

| 3 min read

Snail and Worm Snacks
Summer is a great break from the school year grind, but some aspects of that daily routine are beneficial to a child’s health. Getting children to stay healthy during summer vacation may be a challenge, as they can get restless with less to do and turn to mindless snacking.
It’s important to prepare food for children to eat when they do not receive a school lunch. If families instill healthy eating habits in the summer, kids will be more likely to carry out that behavior throughout the upcoming school year.
Diet every other area of kids’ health, and their eating habits are likely to continue as they age and grow to be adults, according to a 2021 study. A healthy balanced diet for kids includes:
  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • lean proteins
  • fiber
  • polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • minimal refined grains as well as saturated fatty acids
Swap out the junk food around the home with these tasty alternatives that will get kids excited about eating right.

Replacements for Salty Snacks

Try roasted or air fried chickpeas. Chips are one of the most popular snacks that kids will grab to munch on when hungry. This healthy alternative has the crunch of popcorn, but with better flavor. Putting together this snack to have in the pantry will help save children from mindless, unhealthy eating.

Replacements for Sugar-Loaded Granola or Candy Bars

Granola bars include a ton of added sugars, and little protein, which usually lead to a sugar crash and even more hunger. Try dark chocolate cherry energy bites or baked oatmeal, packed with protein, healthy fats, omega-2 fatty acids and fiber, without sacrificing delicious flavor. They help to fuel the body when snacking between meals and are easy to make a head of time to store for kids to snack on later.

Replacements for Chips and Dip

Try kale chips. Cooking kale like this is a tasty way to sneak this super food into a well-balanced diet. They are a great alternative to a classic potato chip and come packed with nutritious benefits. Not to mention they’re much lower in calories. It is great for pairing with healthy dips that kids will love.
Try heart healthy dips. Many store-bought dips are full of saturated fat and are missing the heart healthy fats. Children will love dipping their favorite vegetables in these as a nutritious snack.

Replacements for Heavy Desserts

Try avocado chocolate mousse. It’s great to slip in heart-healthy, plant-based fat like avocado whenever we can as a substitute for unhealthy ingredients. Kids won’t be able to notice the avocado in this dish once it is blended. Including healthy dessert alternatives, rather than cutting them out completely, will show children that you don’t have to avoid sweets all together.
Try a homemade acai berry bowl. This cold treat is perfect on a hot summer day when kids are craving ice cream or popsicles. Acai berry bowls are full of antioxidants and provide a great source of energy when kids are hungry.

For a Fun Snack to Make Together

Try this healthy snail and worm snacks recipe. This cute and healthy snack is a fun way to get children to make good choices when it comes to food. It can sometimes be hard to get kids to eat their fruits and vegetables, but children are more likely to eat what they help cook in the kitchen.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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