Snack time! It's arguably the best part of the day. It can snap a kid (or parent) back into a good mood, kick start a fun activity, give parents a well-earned break, or just fuel kids up so they can play on.
If you’re anything like me, it is so easy to get in a snack time rut. All too often I will find myself throwing a fruit snack at my hungry toddler and calling it good. While I’m okay with this occasionally, I prefer more well-rounded snacks regularly. I also know that my kids do much better when they are properly fueled.
So while it may be a little more work than tossing a fruit pouch or granola bar at my kid, providing well-rounded, healthy snacks is worth the extra effort. And it saves us parents from hangry, over-sugared children later!
When planning out my little one's snacks, I make sure that the food I choose falls into at least one of four categories:
- Healthy Fats
- Protein-Rich Foods
- Whole Grains
- Fruits and Veggies
By sticking to these categories, I know that I can keep the kids satisfied until their next meal, and they won't suffer a sugar crash since they're eating healthy foods.
It’s also important for me that snack time is easy. I already make three meals a day, so I don’t want snack time to feel like another meal. Below are a few ideas of quick and easy snacks. Most of these require little preparation, and they will keep your kids full, happy, and satisfied.
- Yogurt and mixed berries
- Nuts and dried fruit medley (Make sure the nuts served are age-appropriate.)
- Cheese and whole grain crackers
- Hummus and carrot or cucumber sticks
- Peanut butter and banana toast
- Cottage cheese and a hard boiled egg
- Smoothies--a simple mixture of fruit and yogurt
- Guacamole and veggies
- Oatmeal and berries
- Apples and peanut butter
- Pretzels and fruit slices
- Turkey slice and a cheese stick
- Avocado toast
- Cherry tomatoes and bell pepper stick with greek yogurt
- Whole grain muffin and a clementine