Parents and teachers ideally want children to have healthy snacks whenever they can. While fruits and vegetables may be an ideal snack, not all children may agree with the choice of snack. Therefore, having something different on occasion can help shake things up during snack time. This article will focus on other options that can be just as fun and not so bad for kids.
Depending on if you’re looking for an after-school snack, or one in the classroom, here are a few options to consider:
Cereal — dry or with milk. In a classroom setting, serving dry cereal may be an ideal option. Kids love all sorts of cereals, and not necessarily the chocolate type or with marshmallows! Cheerios, (or if no allergies), Honey-Nut Cheerios, Frosted Mini Wheats, Kix, or other cereals can provide a yummy and easy snack. Adding milk, if at home, is another way to get more dairy in children’s diets.
Crackers, preferably whole-grain, can be a great snack if adding cheese, peanut butter, or even lunch meat. This is a great snack to allow kids to assemble or choose their topping. Oftentimes, involving children in the decision-making, makes them more willing participants.
Popcorn is a fun and light snack for children…. Always popular and easy to make. Just ensure that you’re choosing a not so buttery product that can be enjoyed by all. Now-a-days, there’s dozens of different kids of popcorn, including the white cheddar popcorn offered in the chip aisle. Just look at the labels if you’re going for the best nutritional option.
Depending on your brood, pretzels or rice cakes, can be an option. Rice cakes come in all sorts of varieties (including the not so healthy kind). Pretzels come in all sorts of fun shapes and sizes. Just make sure to observe the sodium content…
As another after-school option, yogurt or pudding can be served. I like to give pudding as an occasional treat, but yogurt is a favorite with the younger ones.
In the classroom, trail mix is an easy way to add healthy stuff with fun stuff — if you plan to make it from scratch. Dried fruit, granola, dry cereal, and nuts (if no allergies) can be added.
For drinks at home and in a classroom setting, making water or milk the primary choices can be a great way to keep them hydrated and providing necessary nutrients. Rather than fruit punch or lemonade offer 100% fruit juice like orange juice, apple juice or even pineapple juice.
These snacks are all easy to prepare and are healthier alternatives than pre-packaged items that are loaded with empty calories and lots of sugar. Leading by example is an excellent way to instill a healthy lifestyle for children as of now and throughout their lifetime.
If you like cooking (making) things with your kids, read my article that featured fun 4th of July goodies that can be made all year round!