Growing kids are hungry — but what types of food and how much should you give them between meals?
Here are 10 great healthy snack recipes that help boost kids’ nutrition:
- Frozen bananas. Cut a banana in half and put each half on a Popsicle stick. Roll the halves in yogurt and then coat with a crispy rice cereal or granola and freeze. Your child can enjoy them frozen or slightly thawed.
- Quick pizza. Drizzle tomato sauce and sprinkle low-fat mozzarella cheese on a whole-grain English muffin half. Sprinkle with seasonings, such as oregano and garlic. Heat in the toaster oven until the cheese melts.
- Yogurt treats. Make yogurt parfaits by layering fruit, like strawberries and blueberries, and low-fat yogurt in a parfait glass. Top with granola.
- Snack mix. Make a mix of ready-to-eat cereal, dried fruit, and nuts or seeds. Place in a sandwich bag and you have an on-the-go snack.
- Snack kabob. Cut up cubes of low-fat cheese and place them with grapes on mini pretzel sticks.
- All-time favorite. Kids may enjoy “ants on a log,” which are celery sticks spread with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese and topped with raisins.
- Mexican treat. Take a corn tortilla and sprinkle with low-fat, grated Monterey Jack cheese. Fold it in half and then microwave for 20 seconds. Top with mild salsa.
- Potpourri. Arrange pita chips, baby carrots, and apple slices on a plate. Serve with hummus, low-fat ranch dressing, or low-fat yogurt as a dip.
- Smoothies. Blend low-fat milk or yogurt with a banana or strawberries and some ice for a low-fat milkshake.
- Popcorn. Air-pop some of your own kernels or choose a low-fat brand of popcorn to pop in the microwave. Serve with a glass of milk.
One final note: When kids have a snack after school, they should eat at the kitchen table and not in front of the TV or computer. “That way they pay attention to what they’re eating,” says Thayer, “and mindful eating keeps kids from overeating.”