Healthy snacks for kids: 10 child-friendly tips
Healthy snacks for kids don't have to be dull. Consider these 10 tips for quick and nutritious snacks.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Snack time is likely a part of your child's daily schedule — and that's not necessarily bad. Nutritious snacking can help curb your child's hunger throughout the day.
Regular healthy snacks also boost energy, and can help your child sneak in more of the nutrients essential for his or her growth and development. Here's how to whip up healthy — and tasty — snacks for kids.
1. Keep junk food out of the house
Your child won't clamor as much for cookies, candy bars or chips if they aren't around. Save desserts for special occasions rather than daily treats. Set a good example by eating healthy snacks — your child might follow suit.
2. Power up with protein
Protein will help your child feel fuller, longer. Stock your fridge with hard-boiled eggs, deli meat, and cooked chicken tenders or drumsticks. Serve up a steaming bowl of ramen noodles. For kids without nut allergies, offer nuts and nut butters.
3. Go for the grain
Whole-grain foods — such as whole-grain pretzels or tortillas and high-fiber, whole-grain cereals — provide energy with some staying power. Pair whole-wheat bread with a slice of cheese, deli meat or hummus for a satisfying snack.
4. Broaden the menu
Offer a rainbow of fruits and veggies, such as avocado, pineapple, cranberries, red or yellow peppers, or mangoes. Encourage kids to choose a few pieces of produce and mix them together for a colorful snack. Serve baby carrots or other crunchy veggies with fat-free ranch dressing or hummus. Dip graham cracker sticks or fresh fruit in yogurt. Spread peanut butter on celery, apples or bananas.
5. Revisit breakfast
Serve breakfast foods as afternoon snacks. Offer dried cereal mixed with fruit and nuts. Or microwave oatmeal with low-fat milk and mix it with unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon.
March 04, 2017
See more In-depth
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- 25 healthy snacks for kids. American Dietetic Association. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=206. Accessed Dec. 18, 2016.
- Shop smart — Get the facts on food labels. American Dietetic Association. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=206. Accessed Dec. 18, 2016.
- 20 ways to enjoy more fruits and vegetables. American Dietetic Association. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=206. Accessed Dec. 18, 2016.
- Chassiakos YR, et al. Children and adolescents and digital media. American Academy of Pediatrics. 2016;138:e20162593.
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