It's not always easy feeding children healthy snacks. There is a lot of competition with the sugar-filled and artificially flavored treats on the store shelves, and the commercials in between your child's favorite TV shows are often hawking unhealthy foods. Luckily, there are tons of healthy alternatives available, found both prepackaged in stores and via easy-to-make recipes. Here are just a few ideas most kids will love.
Kids will love this snack because they can help make it. Cut wooden barbecue skewers into 6-inch lengths. Chop up a variety of fruits for your child to spear on the fruit. Ideas include blueberries, strawberries, mango chunks, pineapple and apples. For an extra treat, you can roll the skewers in a light layer of yogurt or honey and top the sticky kabobs with chopped nuts, granola or coconut flakes.
Organic Fruit Leather
This snack, which is a healthier alternative to Fruit Roll-Ups, can be found at many grocery stores. See the Resources section below for one type of organic fruit leather. This snack is healthier than Fruit Roll-Ups because it is sweetened with organic fruit juice and contains no artificial sweeteners.
You can take ordinary items in your refrigerator and freeze them to turn them into a different kind of snack for your kids. Use Popsicle molds so the liquids retain their shapes, or you can use ice cube trays with toothpicks stuck in them. Wrap a layer of saran wrap on top of the ice cube trays before sticking in the toothpicks so the toothpicks don't tip over. Ideas of frozen treats include 100 percent juice, applesauce, yogurt and sugar-free jello.
Another idea for a frozen treat is to chop a large banana in half and stick a wooden Popsicle stick into the flat end. Once the bananas have frozen, you can either serve them as-is for a cold treat on a hot day, or you can coat them with something a little more decadent, such as melted chocolate or peanut butter.
A bag of trail mix is only limited by your imagination. Some examples of ingredients for trail mix include Cheerios, pretzels, dried apricots, raisins, sunflowers seeds (out of their shells), nuts and granola. You can add a small amount of mini M&M's or carob chips as an added treat.
Ants on a Log are a tasty vegetable snack that kids will usually enjoy helping you make. Cut slices of celery in half and spread peanut butter in the middle. Dot the peanut butter with raisins and serve.
Other vegetable snacks that kids usually love are sliced raw vegetables served with a variety of dipping sauces. Some ideas for healthy dipping sauces include hummus, salsa, or fat-free sour cream mixed with dried vegetable soup.