Healthy Tips » Making Healthy Snacks Fun for Kids
Author Angel Toscano is ACTIVE Life’s Manger of After School Programs.
In my day-to-day work with kids and families, parents often ask me, “How can I get my kids to eat healthy snacks?” My advice to them is always make it fun!
First, let’s talk about what makes a snack healthy. Snacks should be light yet filling; something to keep energy up without having too many excess calories. Healthy snacks are often combinations of a few foods that include a complex carbohydrate, like a whole grain bread or cereal, and a protein-rich element, such as peanut butter, low fat yogurt, or cheese. Mixing a complex carbohydrate and a protein will fulfill cravings, while keeping the body’s metabolism going. Avoid snacks with simple carbohydrates such as refined sugars. These will cause your kids to hit a quick wall after the sugar energy wears off. I also recommend avoiding candy, Takis, and soda, which I often hear kids asking for.
Furthermore, try to prepare your kid’s snacks in advance. This way you won’t find yourself under the pressure of hungry kids begging for chips and cookies. You can also stash extra snacks in your child’s backpack in order make sure he or she always has a healthy snack available.
Now, let’s talk about the fun! The easiest way to capture your kid’s attention with healthy food is to connect it to the things your kid already loves. Take a second to think about your child. What is his or her favorite TV show? What books does he or she like to read? Do they like the outdoors, crafts, science, reading, or another activity? Use this as the foundation of making healthy fun.
If your child really loves cars and trucks, try cutting out small peanut butter sandwiches with a car cookie cutter.
If your child loves pretty pink princesses, add a drop or two of red food coloring to a cup of yogurt. Couple it with a couple of crackers with peanut butter and raspberry jelly, and you’ll find yourself with the perfect pink snack.
Make ants on a log with celery filled with peanut butter and topped with a couple of raisons.
All of this will take time, and a little forethought; however, you’ll probably find that the time spent planning will really pay off when you’re kids are hungry and are demanding candy or soda.
About the Author: Angel is ACTIVE Life’s Manger of After School Programs. He was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. Much of his motivation to lead a healthy life comes from his family. Angel’s blogs offers tried-and-true insight on how to inspire kids to live a healthy life. For more about Angel, visit the Meet the Bloggers Page.