During the summer, it’s fairly easy to monitor your kids’ snacking habits. Since they’re usually with you all day, you can make sure that they eat healthy and nutritious snacks. Once your kids go back to school, however, you can’t be sure that they aren’t trading their snack for their friend’s cookies or snack cakes.
But with these 10 fun and healthy school snacks, which are also perfect for team meetings and class parties, you can ensure that your kids have a snack that’s both good for them and something they’ll enjoy eating. If you’re looking for ideas to keep your kids tide over before dinner, check out these 10 Healthy After School Snacks That Are A Cinch.
Funky Fruit Salad
If your kids had it their way, snack time would include cookies, cakes and candy – preferably all three. But you have to give them something nutritional that will give them enough fuel and brain power to get them through the day. Fruit is the perfect sweet treat, but to make it fun for kids, make a fruit salad. Choose fruits that you know your kids like and if they’re adventurous eaters, throw in a few new ones like star fruit or pomegranate seeds. You can also cut melon and pineapple slices into fun shapes with cookie cutters to make the fruit look more appealing and fun to eat.
Veggie Pizza Muffins
Every kid loves pizza, but most pizzas are greasy and full of fat. But these veggie pizza muffins are a great alternative and make for a great class snack. Instead of using a thick, doughy pizza crust, use a while-wheat English muffin, which has more fiber and nutrients than a plain English muffin. Spread a spoonful of tomato sauce on top, heap on the veggies and sprinkle on some low-fat cheese.
Cheese And Whole-Wheat Crackers
Cheese is a great source of calcium and protein for little ones. Plus, it can keep their tummies satisfied until dinner. You can cut the cheese into small, bit-size cubes or cut it into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Pair with whole-wheat crackers since whole-wheat foods contain more nutrients than refined-grain foods.
PB&J Pita Pocket
When you think of kids snacks, the first food that comes to mind is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It’s a classic pairing that never gets old. To give this sandwich a twist, spread peanut butter, which is high in protein, on the inside of a pita pocket. Instead of jelly, which can be full of sugar, use fruit spread. Then, stuff the pita with fruit like grape halves or strawberry slices.
Popcorn is a great snack at any age. It’s packed with fiber, is low in cholesterol and saturated fat and is fun to eat. However, those bags of microwave popcorn can be full of oil, butter and salt AKA fat and sodium. For a healthier treat, air-pop plain popcorn and flavor it with onion powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, parmesan cheese or whatever spices your kids like. To make the topping stick, spray some non-fat vegetable oil spray on the popcorn while it’s still warm.
Whole-Grain Tortilla Chips And Salsa
Instead of snacking on potato chips, which are full of fat and salt, have your kids snack on whole-wheat tortilla chips, which have less fat and salt and more nutrients. To accompany the chips, make a homemade salsa that’s packed with vegetables like peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. If you don’t have time to make salsa, buy a low-sodium mild salsa instead.
Yogurt And Granola
Yogurt is a great source of calcium, which little ones need to help their bones grow. But yogurt can also be loaded with sugar, so look for flavors that have little to no sugar added. Have your kids pick their favorite flavors and let them mix in some granola bits and fresh fruit.
Mix ‘n’ Match Trail Mix
Trail mix is a healthy snack and a great way to get your kids to eat their fruit and fiber. You can let them build their own trail mix with some of their favorite foods. For instance, they can pair cashews, sesame sticks, dried pineapple and coconut for a tropical flair or they can mix pretzel rods, dried cherries, granola and chocolate chips for something more traditional.
Pretzels are a kid-approved snack, but since they’re full of salt, they aren’t always a parent-approved snack. To make this snack both fun and healthy, start by choosing low-salt or salt-free pretzel rods. For a protein punch, take a strip of turkey and wrap it around the pretzel rod. Your kids can even add cheese if they so desire. They’ll have a great both making and eating these pretzel kabobs.
Yummy Hummus and Veggies
Gnawing on a pile of vegetables is almost every kid’s worst snack nightmare. But if they can dip those veggies into something yummy, eating them isn’t such a chore. A popular choice is ranch dressing, but that’s filled with fat. Let your kids try hummus, instead. It’s full of heart-healthy fats as well as fiber and magnesium. Pick a fun flavor like garlic or olive and pair with kid-friendly veggies such as carrots, celery and cherry tomatoes. Cut them into bite-size pieces to make them easier to eat.
The best way to make school snacks fun for kids is to get them involved in both choosing the snacks and preparing them. By giving your kids a bit of control over what they eat and how they make their snacks, you can bet that they won’t be trading with their friends during snack-time at school.