Snacking can be fun, social, and healthy for kids. But many common snacks lack nutrients and are full of harmful ingredients and sugar.
Here are five cancer-causing snacks you shouldn’t feed your kids:
When it comes to food, being a kid can be dangerous. Developing brains are not equipped for the deluge of sugar, chemicals, flavorings, and colorings that are added to so many of the snack foods served to kids today.
No wonder rates of childhood obesity, diabetes, digestive problems, ADD, and other chronic health ailments have risen to epidemic levels. Fortunately, the truth is getting out.
And there are fabulous alternatives for kids, and for the kid in all of us, that are nourishing, convenient, AND tasty. Check out 5 great healthy snack options below.
And be sure to join in the Food Revolution Summit, which starts April 30, for the latest breakthrough food and health insights from some of the world’s top food leaders.
5 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
As a parent, you want your kids to eat healthy, nutritious foods, but they are probably constantly being exposed to unhealthy options. What can you do?
Here’s a tip from Jessica Meyers, a mother of two who runs Garden Fresh Foodie:
“I don’t freak out when my kids get exposed to snacks that are out of my control, but what I DO try to do, is to always have healthy options that they can grab and go with.”
Not sure what foods you should have available for your kids to grab?
Here are 5 healthy snacks for kids of all ages:
1. Fruits and Veggies with Nut Butter
Apple, banana, or pear slices dipped in an all-natural almond butter with a dash of cinnamon is an easy option. Or cut up some celery, smear organic peanut butter down the middle, and add some raisins to create the classic, crunchy snack, “Ants On a Log.”
The key is to cut up fruits and vegetables, so they are ready to be eaten at any time. Then, keep the cut up fruits and veggies in clear, glass jars at the front of the fridge for easy viewing.
Your kids, or yourself for that matter, might not take the time to get out the cutting board and cut up a pineapple, but if it’s already prepared and ready for them to eat, this is a much easier choice.
2. Healthy Dips with Sliced Veggies
Dips can be fun and easy for kids to eat, but many dips are creamy and not so healthy. One dip we love is hummus. Store-bought varieties are often full of preservatives and genetically modified soybean oil, so it’s best to make your own.
When you make hummus, have a plate of cut up veggies ready, like cucumbers, peppers, and carrots. Make the plate appealing, with veggies of all colors, so your kids won’t look at it and think it’s boring.
This crunchy, creamy, refreshing snack will satisfy all your kids’ cravings, and you can make a big bowl of it and keep in the fridge all week or put it in individual serving containers.
Another idea for a healthy dip is this healthy, plant-based spinach and artichoke dip.
3. Granola and Granola Bars
It’s best to avoid most store-bought varieties of granola and granola bars due to the processed sugars, oils and other unhealthy ingredients, though they can convenient. So why not make a big batch and have them ready for your kids to eat when they’re hungry?
This recipe for craisinut granola bars is so easy your kids can help you make it — and if kids help out, they’ll probably be more likely to eat what they create!
You can also serve homemade granola, made with whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits, with nondairy milk or coconut yogurt, or pack it to go to, so your kids will have it when hunger hits.
4. Chia Seed Puddings
Do your kids love sweet snacks? Give them healthy options that are also sweet — without all the added sugar.
Chia seed puddings are creamy and delicious and you can top them with granola or fruit for extra flavor and texture.
This apple cinnamon chia seed pudding is packed with protein and nutrients. Or make this chocolate orange chia seed pudding. Put these puddings in fun, cute glass serving dishes, and your kids with love having these recipes as snacks.
5. Air-Popped Popcorn
Air-popped popcorn can be a great healthy snack when your kids want to much on something. And they can even make it themselves if you have an air popper.
Buying organic popping corn is best, and it shouldn’t be much higher in price than a non-organic kind.
To make the popcorn more exciting, add a little salt or other spices and maybe some nutritional yeast or a drizzle of flavored balsamic vinegar.
Overall, your kids’ bodies are in a constant state of growth and development, so they need a constant supply of healthy, nutritional foods to support healthy growth. And kids love to snack, so give them what they want, but make it healthy.
When you take the time to plan and to have healthy, fun, delicious options around — and remove the unhealthy options from your kitchen — your kids will learn to make healthy choices, especially if you join them. Yes, it might take some time to get your kids to love healthier foods, but be sure to get them involved in the process and teach them what foods are best.
Note: Image from Wikimedia Commons