Healthy, easy-to-make snacks maintain your kids' energy level throughout the day, preventing drowsiness and fueling exercise. Keep fruit and vegetable snacks, yogurt and 100-percent juice boxes within reach in the refrigerator. Designate an eye-level cupboard shelf for pretzels, crackers, peanut butter and other savory snacks.
Fruit and Vegetable Dips
Cut your kid's favorite raw vegetables, like carrots, cucumbers, jicama and zucchini, into sticks or use cherry tomatoes and green beans to dip into ranch salad dressing. Dip whole berries or apple slices in plain or vanilla flavored yogurt. Graham crackers dipped in applesauce or animal crackers and pudding appeal to younger kids. Pita chips in hummus and tortilla chips with salsa or bean dip appeal to slightly older children as well. Pretzels and mustard are a classic combination.
Keep frozen grapes and banana slices in a storage bag in the freezer for quick, cool summertime snacks. Cut the grapes in half before freezing to make them less slippery and reduce chocking risk, and don't serve them to young toddlers. Have the kids help you make freezer pops from cut up fresh fruit and 100-percent fruit juices. Fill ice cube trays or small paper cups with the combination and put a craft stick in each one. Buy natural or organic applesauce cups. Dust one with cinnamon, or set a berry in the cup just before serving. For a wintertime snack, remove the top from an apple, core it and stuff it with raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon. Wrap the apples in plastic wrap and microwave them until they're tender.
Fruit smoothies are quick, healthy snacks. Combine fresh fruit and yogurt in the blender and blend until the drink is smooth. Add peanut butter for extra protein. Ask your kids for flavor-combination ideas. Serve a glass of vegetable juice cocktail with a celery stick or cucumber slice. Make a frosty glass for fruit or vegetable juices by rinsing the glass in water and putting it into the freezer. Frost forms on the glass when you take it out.
Make trail mix for a quick and healthy snack. Combine dried fruits, nuts and toasted oat cereal in sandwich bags for a no-fuss snack. Spread whole-grain crackers with peanut butter, or sandwich a cube of cheese between them. Keep mini rice cakes on hand for topping with peanut butter. Stuff small pita pockets with sliced fruit, cheese or vegetables and cream cheese or creamy dressing. Keep a covered bowl of hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator. Have the kids help you make snack balls by mixing peanut butter and corn flakes and forming the mixture into balls. Cover the balls with crushed graham crackers and refrigerate.