It can be hard to find time to sit down for family meals, and it can be harder to eat healthy when you’re always on the go. After a long day of school, what child isn’t hungry?
Here are some tips to help choose healthy snacks that add to your child’s nutrition.
Include a fruit, vegetable, or whole-grain plus a protein
This combination of foods is a great way to keep your child feeling full between lunch and dinner.
- Apples and peanut butter
- Celery or carrots with hummus
- Fruit or berries with yogurt
- Cheese and whole grain crackers
- Popcorn – pop your kernels in a brown paper bag to avoid extra additives
- Hard boiled eggs
Avoid extra sugar by drinking water
Water is a zero-calorie, no-sugar thirst quencher. Having a reusable water bottle available for each child minimizes the temptation to run into the grocery or convenience store for soda.
Even juice or sports drinks, which seem like a healthy option, often have as much sugar as soda and contains none of the fiber as eating a whole piece of fruit.
Keep a cooler in the car
Extend your options for eating on the go by having a cooler with ice packs with you. Yogurt and cheese are great options if you can keep them cold. Frozen bananas and grapes are also fun and healthy.
Make sure that it’s not the same snack every day. Adding variety can mean less complaining and help prevent a detour through the drive-through for an alternate snack.
Get your kids involved in advanced snack planning
Healthy snacks aren’t as convenient as many prepackaged snacks and do require thinking and planning in advance. Get your kids involved in helping to choose and prepare healthy foods. Make your own trail mix together and allow them to pick out the combination of dried fruits, nuts, and healthy cereals they like best.