Getting tired of your kids filling up on junk food between meals? Help them get back on the road to healthy eating.
Growing kids generally need two to three snacks between meals. Snacks should be provided at least an hour before meals.
The first step? Get organized.
- Plan ahead. Discuss with your child the types of snacks they’ll actually eat. Get a list going of what you’ll need to buy.
- Give them several options to choose from. The same snack every day can get boring really quickly.
- Pick a day for food prep. If you’re able to prep a whole week’s worth of snacks at once, your future self will certainly appreciate it.
- Get your kids involved. Recruit your kids to make a snack assembly line. Give younger kids an easy task such as counting out blueberries into a bag.
Choose snacks that combine protein with healthy fats. Avoid empty carbohydrates.
Some happy combinations to try:
- Cottage cheese with peaches
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Raw veggies and dip
- Greek yogurt and berries
- Whole grain crackers with reduced-fat cheese
- Top celery sticks with hummus and diced bell peppers
- Ice pops made with yogurt, 100% juice and fruit
- Whole wheat toast with almond butter
Sometimes a little creativity goes a long way in giving your children that extra nudge to try something healthy. Who wouldn’t love a snack shaped like a smiling teddy bear?
Here’s a recipe for teddy toast, a treat that’s sure to put a smile on your kiddo’s face:
- 1 slice whole wheat bread
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
- 3 slices of banana
- 3 blueberries (or raisins)
Toast one slice of bread. Spread peanut butter evenly on one side of the toast. Distribute banana slices and blueberries to create a teddy bear face.
Jeanette Arrendondo, RD, has been a registered dietitian for more than 10 years. She currently works in oncology at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and previously worked as an inpatient dietitian at Spectrum Health Lakeland. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in nutrition at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She resides in Rockford with her husband and two children.