It can be difficult to choose healthy snacks, and kids can often have different ideas of what tastes good than adults do. Here are some healthy snack ideas to keep everyone happy:
Tuna and apples: mix a can of tuna with 1T organic mayonnaise. Slice apples into thin rounds. Pile tuna on top of apples and serve like tuna and crackers. Cutting down on grains lessens the amount of empty calories you consume. This recipe also exchanges a processed food (cracker) for a whole one (apple). Apples can serve as crackers for cheese and peanut butter, as well.
Stuffed celery: you may be familiar with celery boats filled with peanut butter and raisins. Try them with chocolate peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, or Nutella, too. For adults, fill them with goat cheese and figs, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, or cream cheese and strawberry preserves.
Smoothies: blended drinks offer a great opportunity to get concentrated nutrients into yourself and your children. You can add greens like spinach, lettuce, or collards; protein in whey or hemp powders; good fats like avocado and coconut oil; and supplements like bee pollen, spirulina, and wheat grass. Keep the ingredients simple, limit the supplements to one per smoothie, and keep the ratio of sweet to savory at least 1:1. Blend greens with liquid first before adding frozen or thickening ingredients. Adding greens and fats to the traditional breakfast smoothie makes it a meal that will stay with you until lunch and jump-starts your brain for superb functioning. Here are some great smoothie recipes:
Green goddess: Juice from two large pink grapefruits, 1/2 avocado, 1 frozen banana
Berry good smoothie: 1c spinach leaves, 1c apple juice, 1 c frozen strawberries, 1/2c frozen blueberries, water to desired thickness.
Orangina: 2c orange juice, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 avocado
Chocolate: 1 avocado, 1/4c prepared hot cocoa mix, 1 banana, water to desired thickness.
Snack platter: take a muffin tin and fill the bottom row with dips such as ranch dressing, peanut butter, vanilla yogurt, salsa, refried beans, melted chocolate, and barbecue sauce. Fill the other cups with healthy dippers. These can be slices of grilled chicken, carrot coins or sticks, zucchini chips, celery sticks, apple slices, strawberries, and other fresh fruits and vegetables. A snack platter like this can be set out for long periods of time and is especially good for toddlers and small people with short attention spans or picky eating habits. It is good for parents to have snacks like these set out because they are tempted less to eat something unhealthy when there is a healthy snack immediately available.
Snacks and meals are in the eye of the beholder. Dinner can be cream cheese and jalapenos on apple rounds or cottage cheese with pineapple just as easily as it can be steak and potatoes. Spaghetti with meatballs can serve as breakfast, and chicken slices can be served for snacks. Focusing on getting healthy foods into yourselves and your children is an easier goal when other limits are taken away. While you are making the transition to healthy eating, focus more on finding healthy foods to enjoy together than you do on what is supposed to happen when. You’ll fall into a new, healthy routine together as you grow used to your new foods.