Whether your child is two years old, 16 years old, or somewhere in between, encouraging healthy snacks can be a challenge. Pre-packaged and GMO-filled snacks, such as crackers, cookies, and chips, are far too easy to have around the house. Meanwhile, having healthier options available might seem expensive, time-consuming, or a lost cause with kids who have developed a taste for all things sweet and salty.
To set your kids up for success when it comes to snacking, here are a few healthy and natural snack ideas to try in your family.
Trail mix is a favorite food for hiking trails, but you don’t need to be on an outdoor excursion to provide this healthy snack. Make your own trail mix so you can control what’s in it and cater to your child’s tastes. Nuts are a good option because they contain healthy fats and fiber. Dried cranberries, granola, raisins, and dark chocolate are other great trail mix options.
Yogurt with Mix-Ins
Yogurt is a good source of calcium, and if you buy Greek yogurt, it’s an especially good source of protein too. This snack food is beneficial for the digestive system if it contains live bacteria. But instead of flavored yogurt, choose the plain version and make it more enticing with a little honey, dried fruit, and seeds.
Cottage cheese has a creamy and satisfying texture that kids often like. It’s also a good source of protein, vitamins, and calcium. Cottage cheese is an easy snack to provide straight from the container, or you can add some fresh fruit on the top for a sweet treat.
Veggies and Hummus
There’s nothing simpler than a few baby carrots or celery sticks dipped in hummus for a healthy snack. You can buy premade hummus from the grocery store or make your own at home to make vegetables more enticing for mid-day snacks.
Smoothies are often go-to breakfast options for busy parents as they run out the door in the morning. However, kids love smoothies too, and they are an excellent way to sneak extra fruits and vegetables into their diets.
Here are a few of our smoothie-themed blogs with recipe ideas to try:
- Vegetable-Focused Smoothie Ideas for Your Blender
- Summer Smoothie Recipes with Healthy, Seasonal Foods
- 4 Fall Smoothie Recipes with Healthy Natural Foods
- Spring-Inspired Smoothie Recipes for Healthy Meals & Snacks
- Winter Smoothie Recipe Ideas for Your Natural Diet
Apples and Peanut Butter
One of the most delicious food combinations in the world is apples and peanut butter. Apples contain a good amount of fiber, while peanut butter is always a favorite with kids and may entice them to eat more apples than if they were just plain. Only put a tiny amount of peanut butter on each apple slice, however, to limit your child’s fat and sugar intake.
Store-bought popsicles are often packed with sugar and artificial flavors and colors. But you can make your own popsicles at home to keep your kids cool on hot days. There are some easy recipes you can make that use yogurt as a base and incorporate healthy fruits like blueberries and raspberries. These are great alternatives to ice cream if you’re trying to keep your kids healthy and are just as delicious.