Snacks for children can bridge the gap between meals. They can provide energy and they are fun; however, it is important that the snack choices chidren have are healthy and nutritious. You can take several steps to be sure that your children’s snacks will benefit their overall health.
Offering only healthy foods for snacks guarantees that children will choose something healthy to eat. Stocking fresh fruits and vegetables for them to eat when they are hungry will provide them with needed nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Keeping a bowl filled with apples, pears and oranges on the counter gives children a variety of snack choices.
Using snacks as a source of energy-boosting protein is a good way to keep your child going throughout the day. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several healthy snack ideas for protein boosts. Low-fat flavored yogurt, whole-grain crackers and cheese, and hard-boiled eggs can all give children healthy snack options. A whole-grain bagel spread with soft cream cheese is also a healthy snack choice.
Rather than eliminate snack favorites such as pretzels, tortillas or cereal, switch to whole-grain choices. Whole-grain products provide fiber and give children energy. Spreading a tablespoon of peanut butter on apple slices or a fresh banana is a healthy snack alternative that children enjoy.
There are several sweet options that children can eat including fat-free puddings. If they want ice cream, try offering some fat-free frozen yogurt or frozen fruit juice. A smoothie made with fat-free yogurt, fresh cut fruit and ice cubes can brighten a child’s day.