I think snacks can be the trickiest thing we have to feed our kids. We all want convenience, but we also want healthy options. Unfortunately it’s not easy to find those two things together. Below is a list of what my kids like for snacks. Alice typically likes fruit after school or leftovers. And Tate is a smoothie, nuts kind of guy. Some things are easy and portable, and some things take a little cooking. But as you may know, I don’t spend more than 30 minutes putting together a snack, much less cooking a meal, so it’s really not that bad. Oh, and I apologize if a lot of this is repetitive information from early posts, but wanted to lay out a comprehensive list.
- Wellshire Turkey Sticks
- Apples (we like red, green, or honey crisp) with natural peanut or almond butter
- Orange slices
- Smoothies – Banana, strawberry blueberry or banana and Justin’s Almond Nut Butter(both with coconut milk, 1/4 cup ice, vanilla and touch of raw dark honey)
- Roasted seaweed (Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods but it’s more at WF)
- Turkey lettuce wrap (No nitrate Applegate turkey/ham or Boars’ Head All Natural, some cheese, maybe some bacon, and iceberg to hold it together)
- Justin’s Almond or peanut butter (honey or chocolate) portable packs
- A spoonful (or two) of almond butter or natural peanut butter – please be sure to read the ingredients of your peanut butter. Many have added sugar, corn syrup and really bad transfats (it wont actually say transfats so look for the word “hydrogenated vegetable oil”)
- Trader Joes Olive Oil Popcorn (it is in a bag in the chips section)
- Gluten free pretzels (once in awhile) with almond butter
- Trade Joe’s prepackaged nut packs (my son loves the almond cashew macadamia cranberry one or the raw nut pack)
- Trader Joe’s organic banana chips in coconut oil
- Macaroons (Jennie’s Omega-3 Chocolate or Almond flavor)
- Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered almonds (few as a treat)
- Costco organic apple packs
- Trader Joe’s brown rice cakes (we’ll add almond butter on top)
- Pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds
Here are a few easy snacks I’ll make:
- Guacamole by the spoonful or with carrots (lime, fresh cilantro, and celtic sea salt)
- Squash chips
- Sweet potatos (Trader Joe’s prepackaged) roasted with cinnamon/celtic sea salt – My son will eat these as snacks or for breakfast or lunch. Butter is great on these too!
- Or just any leftovers (i.e. hamburgers are portable, just grab, put in a paper towel and go!) That’s why I always try to double my recipes.
Guess who has a better idea for these oranges. You can just see him thinking, “Sure, I can juggle.”
I know snacks are hard. And I know they can be especially hard when kids are use to eating anything from a box or a bag, so it may take some time for them to adjust. I have some friends who have ripped the band aid off so to speak too. They’ve tossed their junk food out so now they only have healthy options. Chances are good a child is going to want a rice krispy treat over an apple with peanut butter, if they know it’s in the pantry. Kids tend to think with their bellies and why wouldn’t they? That’s why it’s up to us to think with our heads and help them make these decisions. Eventually they will put two and two together and realize what makes them feel good, and what doesn’t. And you can help push that along. We can help them develop those good, lifelong habits. Tate thinks guacamole makes him run really fast. I don’t know if that is why I can give him guacamole and a spoon and he’ll devour it because it “makes him run fast” or because he likes the taste, but whatever it is, it makes me happy and him healthy. So do what you can to get them excited about eating and feeling well!
And don’t forget, always read your ingredients! Look out for negative words such as corn syrup, sugar, enriched wheat flour, vegetable/canola/soybean/cottonseed oil, for starters. 6 ingredients or less is key. 6 grams of sugar or less is key. And eating whole foods is THE key!
Oh, and just because something says it’s “organic” or “gluten free” doesn’t mean it is healthy. It can be far from it actually. Another post, another time…