Growing children get hungry. The trouble is they can be picky. Sweet treats are a delight to the pallet, but excess sugar can lead to energy and dental issues. How can a parent change their child’s habits and teach them healthy alternatives are better? Convincing your child to choose berries, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, heart-healthy fats, and whole grain alternatives may take a little creative thinking and food preparation.
Yet snack time can be a lot of fun. For instance, you can enlist children as young as eighteen months to two years can help make their own snacks. Or make snack time into a tea party or picnic. Here are some fun yet tasty ideas for kids’ snack time:
1. Avocado boats
There are many types of fat and not all of it is unhealthy. The fat found in avocados and nuts, for example, contain healthy fats. Children can make their own avocado boats, filling them with a variety of chopped vegetables like tomatoes and carrots.
2. Ants on a log
Nuts, seeds, and raisins can be added to ‘ants on a log’ using low fat cream cheese or nut butter to affix them to the vegetable.
3. Nuts and cheese
Protein is important to a growing body and mind. It helps with concentration and can keep a child full for hours. High protein snacks include nuts and cheese. Even a lactose intolerant child can enjoy cheese and milk products; there are many non-milk options from soy to almond milk.
4. Hard boiled, festive eggs
Easter eggs are a great seasonal snack, but why not decorate them for other holidays? Perhaps Halloween witches and vampires or Christmas Santas can be created! What fun would it be to eat an Uncle Sam egg on the Fourth of July?
5. Finger foods
Small snacks like oat round cereal, honey sweetened puffed wheat, currants, raisins and blueberries are tasty, contain healthy nutrients and fiber and help develop dexterity. Healthy snacks are meant to help a child grow? Consider small finger-foods for little fingers. They will appreciate improve handwriting and fine motor skills.
Children need to eat. Snacking is a part of their daily energy needs. Feeding your child healthy snacks may require innovation and inventiveness on the part of the parent. Using a little creativeness and let your children make their own snacks will help you to guide them to eat healthier foods and build good habits that they will take with them into adulthood.