As most parents probably do, we sometimes struggle coming up with healthy snacks for kids that are nutritious and not too sweet. Our family has especially been working on cutting out added sugar from our diet this year.
I have been worried about long-term health problems that high sugar consumption can have on a person so I wanted to make it a priority to change our eating habits.
With so many things containing sugar, we are often left wondering, what are some simple healthy snacks for kids that they will actually eat?
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Helping Kids Make Better Choices
My kids have not only been learning about making better choices when it comes to food, especially snacking, but they have also been learning about the nutritional content of their food and how it affects their bodies. We have started a daily food journal where we write down what foods we are eating for each meal, along with the grams of added sugar that that meal contains.
They have really been getting into keeping track to see where they are at throughout the day in order to stay under the daily recommended limit (our limit started out at 45g of sugar per day as a jumping off point, and we are slowly weaning that down to an ideal of about 15g of added sugar per day).
Using a Food Journal
I really like using a daily food journal with built-in spots for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
This one not only has spaces for what I need, but it is a way to keep me and my family accountable. Since we consider limiting sugar more important than overall calories, we just substitute what we are actually tracking in place of the calories spot listed in the book.
How To Pick Healthy Snacks For Kids
So you are on board, you want to keep track of what your kids are eating and move toward a healthier lifestyle or at least healthier snack options. So now what?
Give Choices With Limits
You may find your kids will be willing participants in making a change if they have some say in the matter. For my kids, it is about options. While my husband and I decide what food we are going to have in the house, the actual choice of what to eat during snack time is left up to the kids.
Healthy Snack Options to Keep Stocked
- Royal Trail Mix
- Popcorn (not the prepackaged kind)
- String Cheese
- Yogurt (sugar-free and add fruit)
- Whole Cherries
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Walnuts or any other nut
- Hummus (with Pita Chips)
- Beef Jerky
- Broccoli Crowns (bite sized)
- Cauliflower Florets (bite sized)
- Baby Carrots
- Celery (with or without sugar-free peanut butter)
And remember, you know your kids’ tastes best so stock your shelves with what they will eat, but don’t be afraid to have them try new foods.
It is said that you need to try a food anywhere from 7 to 15 times before acquiring a taste for it! Perhaps that is why it took me so long to enjoy hummus. 🙂
Using a Refrigerator to Offer Choices
This is made pretty easy because we have a refrigerator with a drawer that pulls out. Anything that is in the drawer is fair game for them to snack on, so we usually keep it stocked with carrots, string cheese, some fruit, and even some lean proteins like chicken.
The variety of snack items rotates with the season, but there is always something in there that appeals to everyone. If you don’t have a refrigerator like this one, you can simply grab a few inexpensive plastic crates, fill them with snack items that you have approved and stick it on your refrigerator shelf, and ‘train’ your kids that anything in the bin is theirs if they get hungry.
Dry Goods and Choices
We also keep dry goods as snack items. Our favorite healthy snacks for kids are nuts or trail mix, and you can use those same clear bins to store them in your pantry or a cabinet.
Not only do these nuts look delicious (and they are), they are loaded with protein, fiber, essential fats, antioxidants, and minerals. This makes them pretty great for you, and if introduced to kids at an early age they will tend to choose nuts as a preferred snack option over most other things (at least my 2yr old does).
Do your kids have a favorite snack you would add to the list? Let us know!
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