For many parents with school-age children, back-to-school has morphed from an in-person experience to a virtual one, and when kids are at home, “I’m hungry!” becomes a common phrase. Children can sometimes mistake boredom for hunger, and they may not crave the snacks that provide the nutrition they need. So, it can be challenging to come up with healthy snacks that kids would enjoy.
It’s always funny to me when people ask what my kids ate when they were little. I’m sure many of them think that because of the work I do, my kids must have been perfect eaters – or that I had some special tricks up my sleeve that made them beg for broccoli and other healthy foods.
Truth be told, my kids were no different from most other kids. They had their likes and dislikes, and they needed frequent snacks to fuel their active and growing bodies. But there were several really healthy foods that they were almost always willing to eat. I just downplayed the “healthy” part, because once you tell kids something is “good for you,” that’s one of the surest paths to rejection. Here are some snack ideas that your kids – and you! – will love:
- Carrots and Hummus
Kids and vegetables often don’t mix, but sweet, crunchy, raw carrots are an exception. Carrots are rich in beta carotene to help support healthy-looking skin and eyesight, and they’re also a good source of fiber. Add some protein-rich hummus and they’ll be getting a healthy, balanced snack.
- Turkey Sticks
Wrap a slice of turkey around a stick of string cheese for a fun-to-eat snack loaded with protein and calcium.
- Protein bars
Instead of granola bars – which tend to be made mostly of refined carbohydrates and offer very little nutrition – look for protein bars that provide at least 5 grams of protein. Bars that include nuts, fruits, and seeds will provide additional nutrition.
- Half a sandwich on whole-grain bread
It’s a rare kid who won’t eat sandwiches, so why not offer half a sandwich for a snack? For kids who are old enough to make their own, lay out all the ingredients – and include some cut veggies like cucumber slices or tomato – and let them make their own. Kids are more likely to eat vegetables when they’ve put them into their own creations.
- English-muffin pizza
A classic treat that kids love. Top split English muffins (preferably whole grain) with some prepared pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese, then toast until bubbly. A well-balanced treat with a boost of vitamin C from the tomato sauce.
And Don’t Forget the Water
Kids also need to stay well hydrated too. Plain water is great, but a small amount of flavor may actually encourage your kids to drink more. Make it interesting by adding chunks of fruit to amp up the taste.
For more tips from Susan Bowerman, visit www.IAMHerbalife.com.