Every parent knows that kids come home from school starving. Having snacks available is an absolute must if you don’t want to deal with a “hangry” meltdown. Unfortunately, most snacks that kids want are typically unhealthy and provide empty calories. Basically, they are a high calorie filler to hold the kiddos over until dinner. As a nutritionist, I always recommend the healthy go-to options: fruit, veggie sticks, and no-added sugar yogurt. Yes, I know this is not necessarily a kid-approved list of snacks so I have created a list of after school snacks kids will love. The best part is that they are healthy!
My favorite snacks to give to kids are those that serve a purpose. This means that the foods they eat serve a purpose in the body rather than just provide sugar and calories. Snacks should include vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber. These are the nutrients commonly missing in children’s diets. My list of healthy snacks include raw cookie dough bites, chickpea cookies, protein balls, and raw brownies. My recipes are made from real food and do not include processed sugar, flour, artificial flavors, or ingredients you cannot pronounce. Just wholesome ingredients to make snacks kids will love.
The trick is to get them to eat these healthy snacks. Believe me, they taste great but kids are drawn to the snacks they see on TV. So, how do you get them to eat healthy snacks? You get them to make healthy snacks!
Research shows that kids are more likely to eat foods they prepare. Moms, if you want your kids to eat veggies you have to let them make veggies. Washing, chopping, prepping, and cooking engage the senses. Kids get to see, touch, feel, and play with their foods. If they cook it they are more likely to eat. In fact, they will proudly display the foods they made and will encourage everyone in the house to eat it. Yes, even veggies!
Allow kids to choose which healthy snacks they want to make. Give them options and take them to the grocery store to purchase their ingredients. Once they get home they will be thrilled to create their healthy snack. Instead of giving them a bag of chips or store bought cookies…allow them to create, make, and enjoy a healthy snack your kid will love.
Make it fun! Be silly. Make funny faces with fruit so kids eat fruit. Create a green monster dip so they eat their veggies. I know it will take a little more time for Mom and Dad. But, a healthy diet promotes creativity, increases attention span, provides healthy energy, and improved sleep patterns. You can start achieving these results using real foods by offering healthy snacks your kids will LOVE.
I hope you and the kiddos enjoy these recipes. Shoot me a text and let me know how it goes!