As a mom I know how important healthy snacks for kids are to having a great day. Families are always on the go, and kids often have to juggle schedules much like our work schedules. After school activities are becoming more involved with longer hours. Keeping kids’ energy at an optimal level to keep them going all day long can be tough when they are digging at the bottom of a bag of chips. Empty carbs with empty energy will lead to a child running out of fuel and hunting for more sugar and carb-loaded snacks.
Keeping kids interested in their health can be a daunting task, but being prepared and one step ahead of the game will keep your kids on top of their game! Making snacks at home can be as convenient as what you may pick up at the store. Also it makes eating fun and involves kids in not only the snack selection but the preparation process too.
Here are some quick tips for planning healthy snacks for kids:
- Game Plan– Sit down with your child and come up with a snack list with which you both agree such as healthy fruit, veggie platter, smoothie, yogurt, etc. Then make a schedule for when the snack time comes into play.
- Make a Goal– Decide with your child when to prep the snacks together. At our house it happens every Sunday and we do it together as a team!
- Practice the Portion– Get those snack bags ready and prep and plan for the week ahead. We mark each of our bags for the day of the week that the snack is to be consumed. This not only makes life easier but truly creates a “snack on the go” concept.
- Time Out– Don’t wear out their taste buds by lacking variety in their snacks. Variety is the key to keeping their interest in the food they eat. Each month our family selects 4 new recipes to try, and we rotate them each week with some of our usual snacks. It is fun to discover new recipes and keeps eating healthy fresh!
Energy Balls for Energized Kids
A favorite in our household, coconut lemon energy balls, are fun to make, easy to pack and keep the kids energized and full all day! You can easily swap out ingredients for a whole new twist. Try almonds, dried cherries and mini chocolate chips for a twist, or mix peanuts, oats, cinnamon and raisins to resemble an oatmeal cookie. Make them big or small….don’t worry they will eat them all!
COCONUT LEMON ENERGY BALLS Recipe
- 1½ cups raw cashews
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- Juice from 2 lemons
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup honey (use rice syrup for vegan)
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Optional: shredded coconut and poppy seeds, to garnish
Add all the ingredients to your food processor and pulse until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate at least an hour until cold. Roll into 24 balls. Either sprinkle or roll the balls in shredded coconut or poppy seeds. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week.
Betsy is a registered Dietitian and the 2015 Florida Young Mother of the Year.