Kids need snacks, because they are so active and always burning energy, and usually don't have the patience to sit down calmly enough to eat large amounts of food at mealtimes. I love snacks, too, not just because I can hardly sit still long enough to eat a large meal myself, but also because snacks are deliciously awesome and give more flavor and energy to my day. Honestly, who doesn't love a good snack? Here are some super healthy snack foods packed with great flavors and tons of nutrients for you and your kids:
1) Berries: Of course, any fruit makes a great, healthy snack but I find that berries are especially good because you can eat them quickly, as they are small, and you can even freeze them as a perfect teething soother, or toss them in your water for added flavor and they are loaded with great, juicy flavor and healthy antioxidants. You can find them almost anywhere, anytime. You can also enjoy them as fruity additions to muffins, and you can buy them fresh, frozen or dried. The only trick with these is to make sure you pack them in a solid snack container if they are not dried because if you toss them in a Ziploc baggie, they will just get mushed.
2) Bananas: These are packed with potassium, which is a great energy booster, and what I love about them is that they can be enjoyed at almost any age and come wrapped in their own protective peel, so you can just toss them in your bag. Try freezing over-ripe bananas and then peeling the skin off with a knife and serve as instant, delicious banana ice cream to go. Kids and babies love them, especially in summer.
3) Cheese and crackers: There are so many variations to this simple snack, it's amazing. You can use any type of crackers and cheese, but the bottom line is that you can enjoy this crunchy, healthy snack almost anytime and get extra strength from the protein and calcium in the cheese to boot.
4) Dried cereal, granola and / or nut bars: These are filled with healthy whole grains and protein, and usually dried fruit too, and frankly they fill me up almost like a small breakfast. So when we are on the run and need a fast, easy and healthy snack, this is one of the first things I grab.
5) Crunchy fresh veggies: Cucumbers, celery, carrots, baby tomatoes and fennel are our favorite, fresh, crunchy and flavorful veggies to snack on. I love how you can peel a bunch at the begining of the week, chop them and store them in small containers in your fridge and they are ready to grab and go for school, work, the beach, the park or wherever you are going. They don't fill you up, but they definitely are healthy and delicious and you can always make or buy a simple dip to go with them as well.
What are your family's favorite healthy snack foods?