Sent to us by Joyce Del Rosario
Kids tend to be picky eaters and finding foods they actually want to eat throughout the day, while still ensuring that they get the nutrients and vitamins they need, can be quite a challenge. Some adults are picky, too, so these ideas might tickle their taste buds!
In addition to this, most children don’t eat much in one sitting so you have to plan numerous smaller meals throughout the day, which makes it difficult to think of new and interesting things to serve at snack times.
Snacks, despite being merely a supplement to the main meals, should still be a good mixture of vegetables, protein, vegetables and whole grains.
The key to getting kids to eat healthy is to present the food to them in a fun and appetizing way. Here are five excellent ideas for healthy and delicious snacks that your kids will enjoy.
Popsicles are sure to go down smoothly with even the pickiest of eaters, but rather than serving the store-bought varieties that are generally full of sugar and preservatives, you can simply make a batch of your own at home.
This is also a good way to keep snacks on hand for those days when you just don’t have time to look for the right ingredients to whip up something edible for your young charges.
You can make your smoothies in a popsicle tray, but if you don’t have one, an ice tray or even small cup and popsicle stick (or teaspoon) will work just fine.
You can make different varieties, although its best to stick to using sweeter fruits that kids will enjoy, such as grapes, apples, pears and peaches. You can even add some yogurt or natural fruit juice to the mix.
Once you’ve blended everything, just pour the liquid into the mold add the popsicle stick and pop it into the freezer to use for the rest of the week.
Orange jelly smiles
Orange jelly smiles can be made with oranges or grape fruits and are full of vitamin C, calcium and fiber, making them a perfect afternoon snack. Just squeeze the orange juice from a couple of fresh oranges, add a little jelly and then pour it back into the orange halves. Once the jelly has hardened in the refrigerator, you can slice them into thinner pieces (hence the name orange jelly smiles) and serve them on a plate.
Ants on a log
This is a fun snack that will have your kids eating their vegetables without complaining, it’s also a simple one to make and doesn’t require much pre-prep so you can have it on a plate and in their bellies within a matter of minutes.
Just wash and slice a few celery sticks and spread some cream cheese over them. Then add a few raisins to the top and serve on a plate. The name itself is half the fun as kids are very visual, so make sure you spark their imagination by explaining that it looks a bit like ants crawling on a log.
You can also do this with peanut butter instead of cream cheese, depending on what your children prefer.
Hummus or white bean dip with whole grain crackers
Kids tend to love dips, so making a great hummus or white bean dip is a great way to eat their beans, and in combination with a few whole grain crackers, you couldn’t wish for a healthier snack.
You can use either canned beans or dried beans, depending how quickly you want to prepare it. Using dried beans involves soaking and boiling them beans in advance, so you’ll need to plan ahead of time. Canned beans work just fine, though, and kids won’t know the difference.Cook the beans till they are soft, and add some roasted garlic, lemon juice, spoon of olive oil and some salt. For kids you’ll want to make sure that the garlic taste is not overpowering.
Once you’ve added all the ingredients you can let them cool and put the mixture through a food processor or blender to finish off the dip. If you don’t have whole wheat crackers, you can always use a piece of toast or bagel for an equally delicious snack.
Popcorn has gotten a bad rep as a junk food, mainly because of its popularity at movie theaters and fairgrounds. However, it actually has a number of health benefits and if prepared properly, is known to contain antioxidants that can prevent cancer and heart disease. It is also rich in fiber which clears the digestive tract and prevents constipation.
If you choose to serve your kids popcorn as a snack a few times a week, avoid the microwavable kind, which often contains additional calories, grease and other flavorings and chemicals. To enjoy the benefits of popcorn, go for the natural type that can be made in the pan and use oil and salt sparingly.