When kids come home from school, their friends' houses and sporting events, they are inevitably ALWAYS hungry and looking for food! Here are some easy, healthy ideas for snacks that kids can actually make themselves or that you can have on hand to put together for them.
- Microwave Nachos: Simply place a handful of tortilla chips on a microwave safe dish, grate cheese or place already shredded cheese on top. You may add shredded chicken, tomatoes or olives if you have any on hand. If not, microwave for 1 minute or until the cheese has melted to your liking. Pour a small amount of salsa on top and enjoy!
- Personal Bite-Size Pizza: Split an English muffin in half so you have two open-faced sides. Place a small amount (about 1 tablespoon) of pizza sauce on each open side. Place shredded cheese on top. You may add ham, pepperoni, olives, tomatoes, etc. if you want a topping. This can then be cooked in the microwave for about 45 seconds or (for best results) placed in the oven on broil for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted to your liking.
- Peanut Butter and...: Not jelly this time.
- Cut celery into long pieces and spread peanut butter on top. These are great snack poppers!
- Slice bananas or apples into your desired sized chunks and spread peanut butter on them. (These are my kids' favorite!)
- Crackers such as saltines or Ritz are great with a peanut butter spread.
- Fruit Basket: Keep a bowl of healthy fruit such as cuties, tangerines, apples or bananas on the family room coffee table so that when the kids are relaxing and watching T.V. or playing a gaming system, "good for your tummy" food is at their reach. I have done this for the last couple of years with my three boys and it is amazing to me how much fruit they will eat rather than chips, crackers, cookies, etc.
- Smoothie: This is a great filling, fun snack that is packed with vitamins and nutrients that kids may not normally eat or want in their diet. All you need is a blender and your imagination! Freeze berries that are about to go bad if you can't eat them now and keep them for this very reason. If you include frozen fruit, you don't need to put additional ice in your smoothie. Put 6 oz of yogurt (any flavor), ½ banana, 1 C of frozen fruit and blend. You’re done! You may add granola or cereal for crunch, fruit juice or milk if it turns out a bit thick, frozen yogurt or ice-cream for a real treat or protein powders. This is a winner of a snack!
- Trail Mixtures: This is something that you can make with almost any ingredients and can keep out in a bowl for snacking. Mix together your own concoction of different types of nuts, dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, apricots or apples), dried cereals (Chex, Cheerios or Kix), pretzel pieces, baked bagel chips, a little something sweet (chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, M&M’s, etc) and watch it disappear!