10.17.2009

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids


Each family in my 5-year-old's Montessori class is asked to assume morning snack duty for a few weeks during the school year.  The school has a few ground rules: no nuts, no sweets, and all natural whenever possible.

My philosophy is that snacks are an opportunity to get some additional "good stuff" into kids -- fruits, vegetables, fiber, protein and/or calcium.  Snack should also be tasty, filling and all natural.   This is really not as hard as it sounds.

Our snack duty starts this Monday, so I compiled the below list of the snacks I typically make and created my menu from this list (I chose the ones that fit the ground rules and travel best).  I ran it by my 5-year-old and got the thumbs-up.  Can you tell we love muffins?

(** = my kids' absolute favorites)
  1. hummus and baby carrots **
  2. organic drinkable yogurts and grapes or half bananas (peel on - kids like removing peels) **
  3. big, beautiful strawberries
  4. organic cheddar or meunster cheese and multigrain crackers
  5. blueberry mini muffins **
  6. banana mini muffins (skip the nuts for school!) **
  7. turkey and spinach pinwheels (take an all natural soft tortilla, add a bit of organic mayonnaise, one slice of organic turkey and a few leaves of organic baby spinach, then roll and slice in 1/2 inch pinwheels -- it's a very flexible concept - you could do it with ham, cheese, cream cheese, chicken...)
  8. carrot mini muffins
  9. cantaloupe cubes **
  10. hummus and multigrain crackers **
  11. carrot or zucchini silver dollar-sized pancakes (I use Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake mix, add an egg and some finely grated peeled carrot or zucchini)
  12. zucchini mini muffins **
  13. pumpkin mini muffins **
  14. chunky, mild guacamole and all natural tortilla chips **
  15. Health Valley organic cereal bars ** (my kids devour these)
  16. raisins and organic "cheesie bunnies" as my toddler calls them (Annie's Cheddar Bunnies)
  17. watermelon cubes (only when in season - out of season watermelon just doesn't cut it) **
  18. peeled organic, sweet, crisp apple slices (toss them in lemon juice to prevent browning if you're preparing in advance) and organic unsalted popcorn **
  19. fruit salad (apples, bananas, kiwi, pears, cantaloupe, grapes - whatever fruit is in-season, in a flavor combination you think the kids will like; toss in some lemon juice to keep things from browning)
  20. raisins and unsalted peanuts (not for school!) **
  21. peanut butter and jelly mini sandwiches (not for school!: we enjoy Oroweat Double Fiber breadArrowhead Mills organic crunchy peanut butter and organic, fruit-sweetened strawberry preserves) **
  22. unsalted trail mix (not for school!; mixed nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, granola chunks) **
  23. fruit smoothies (doesn't travel well to school :); can hide a multitude of goodies such as probiotic powder, pureed baby spinach, etc.)
  24. kefir smoothies (doesn't travel well to school :); slightly tart taste, so the kids really need to love yogurt to enjoy this - my toddler loves these)
  25. cream cheese toast ** (doesn't travel well to school :); my toddler asks for this every day - I use all natural cinnamon raisin bread and Organic Valley cream cheese -- it's the best cream cheese we've ever tasted)

4 comments:

*Mom's Best Bets said...

Kefir, organic chedder bunnies, and most of the rest of your list is in my kitchen...good stuff:)
www.momsbestbets.blogspot.com

amanda said...

looks like a great list - for 5 year olds, and for adults too! mmmmmm.

lululu said...

very good advice!
i could get myself prepared now! though my boy is still too young for that, i think some of them might be ok to just introduce to him now!

'Manda said...

We LOVE cheddar bunnies, and Hummus with pine nuts and mini carrots are my absolute favorite! Thanks for the healthy ideas.

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