Monday, June 29, 2009

Kid-Friendly Afternoon Snacks

Heading to the pool? Perhaps the beach? Or is it still baseball, softball, & swim team season in your hometown? Either way, kids get hungry! Providing the right snacks is a perfect way to set your child up for success. The obesity epidemic is not going away, and unfortunately the issue seems to be getting worse. Toss out the junk and bring in food that truly will nourish your child!

10 Easy Tips & Afternoon Snack Ideas
1. Portion out your snacks first. Snack size zip-top bags are the perfect size bags for your child. Place 1/4 cup nuts, dried fruit, or chips into Snack Bags and make your own 100Kcal snack packs! It's never wise to send your child to the table or out to the livingroom with a full bag of chips! That's a recipe for disaster instead. Teach portion control--not blind eating!
2. Designate a snack shelf. If you wish to provide your child a sense of choice and at the same time limiting their indulgences create a shelf or drawer that is labeled afternoon snacks. To help with quantity make a list of foods that they can only have 1 item, if they can have 2, and fruits & vegetables can be 3 pieces!
3. Beat the heat with a frozen treat. One of my favorites--peel a banana and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts. Freeze! Or you can spread peanut butter on the banana and dip in melted chocolate--now freeze!
4. Create a "cook" book for your kids. There are plenty of cookbooks out there, but why not make your own. Team up with your child to select 10 of your own approved recipes for your child to make without you home or your assistance. If you need help in this department let me know. I created one back in college and I still have it on hand. I'd be glad to share!
5. Cut it up. If you want your fruit & vegetables to be eaten then you need to prep them. If you don't feel up to it buy the fruit or vegetable trays at your grocery store instead. Cut up the oranges, slice the apples (you can keep them cut up in lemon water), wash the grapes, and cut up the carrot sticks.
6. Make it fun. Do you have wooden skewers around? If so, cut them in half and they are perfect fruit kebabs for the kids! It's an easy activity and tasty, too!

7. Something warm. A simple warm snack is Triscuits with sliced apple on top and then broil a slice of cheddar over top! There is a reason why apple and cheddar are thought to be soul mates! You can also try grapes with mozzarella!
8. Blend it up. Smoothies are always fun, and you really don't need a recipe to give it a swirl. Try 1 cup liquid to 2 cups fruit and you will be safe. Add in yogurt, granola, nuts, or cookies for some fun! My favorite is 1 banana, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup peach yogurt, and 4 ginger snap cookies!
9. Let it roll. Tortillas are a staple in my house--both flour & corn. Toss one in the microwave for 15 seconds, top with meat, cheese, and roll! Pizza rolls are easy--2 Tbsp. pizza or spaghetti sauce, 1 tortilla, 1 slice of ham, and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
10. Parfait time. Parfaits just look pretty! Thankfully they can also be tasty and nutritious, too. Take 1/2 cup of your favorite yogurt, top with 1 cup fresh berries or fruit, and 2 Tbsp of cereal. My favorite--Lemon yogurt with blueberries and Honeynut Cheerios!

1 comment:

Fun snacks for kids said...

Good tips. One can even go for some innovative ideas like Ice cream cone can be filled with cheese, veggie and tomato chopped or a tuna fish salad which a great snack, involve the child in building their own meals from sandwiches, cheese cubes, and dried fruit or serve the meal in innovative plates and cups.