Our church mom’s bible study group is called the Mom’s Spiritual Spa. My group is the “Milk Bath” group. That is so funny to me as milk is a huge no no and it is also not used in the families of two other moms in our group! Anyway, we meet once a week and our group seems simply pulled together by God. I could not ask for a greater group of friends.
This article is from this month’s newsletter. It doesn’t look as good with out Cari’s editing.
Some of the snack ideas are NOT gluten and dairy-free (so please use GFCF alternatives), but I hope they can give you some ideas of combinations your kids might like to try.
Kids love to snack, and the good news is that snacking is important to their growing bodies.
Children are growing and developing rapidly. Active children have an increased need for energy as well as other essential nutrients, but they have small stomachs. They need to eat a lot, but have difficulty eating a lot at one time.
If children get too hungry, they may become cranky or find it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. Healthy snacks help to bridge the gap between meals. Healthy snacks also can round out the diet, helping to ensure that children are getting all of the nutrients they need to fuel their growth and development. Learning to eat and enjoy healthy snacks will encourage your children to develop healthy eating habits, both for now and for the future.
It may seem complicated and time-consuming to provide healthy snacks for children. You also could be concerned that the children won’t like or eat the healthy snacks you provide.
You can save time and promote enthusiasm for eating healthy snacks by including the children in planning and shopping for foods that will become their snacks. Many snacks are simple and the children can even help prepare them!
What makes a good snack? A good snack is nutrient dense. This means that each bite contributes to the child’s intake of healthy foods. Six nutrients are needed to maintain a growing and healthy body: carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals, vitamins and water.
Mix and match the nutrients at snack time by teaching your children to choose snacks that feature foods from at least two different levels of the food pyramid. And, strive for a variety in nutrients. For example, a snack of carrot and celery sticks and yogurt contains more nutritional variety than a snack of apple juice and celery sticks.
To help your children choose healthy snacks, make charts with lists of foods within each food group category. Use pictures or words, depending on the ages of your children. Teach the children to select foods from two different charts when choosing their snack.
When shopping, pick up a variety of healthy and quick-to-fix foods from each group. Then let the children help themselves from the healthy choices that are available for them.
A common snacking pitfall is not paying attention to portion size. Instead of handing over an entire bag, you can pre-portion your child’s snacks and put servings of foods that come in large containers in small plastic bags to grab on the go or put a snack-sized serving on a plate. At our house we have a shallow snack basket that I fill periodically with bags of pre-portioned snacks. In the fridge is another snack container with baggies of pre-portioned veggies, and fruits with small containers of dips. The big snack rules in our house? Check with mom or dad first (is it too close to a meal?), have a snack from a different basket each time (dry snacks or the snacks in the fridge), and DRINK WATER when you have a snack.
Here are some quick and easy snack ideas for you to try. Enjoy!
English muffin pizzas with pineapple or tomato slice, mushrooms, etc.
Baked potatoes with chili beans or broccoli and cheese.
Waffles topped with fresh fruit. Choose fruits that are in season.
Tortillas and beans or bean dip.
Yogurt and fruit topped with cereal (yogurt sundaes).
Raw vegetables cut into slices or sticks with a yogurt dip. (Mix your favorite dry salad dressing mix into plain yogurt to make a great tasting dip!)
Trail mix made with several types of cereal, dried fruit and nuts or sunflower seeds.
Yogurt grahams. (Spread fruit-flavored yogurt on a graham cracker square, top with a second square. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.)
Sandwiches made with meats or peanut or nut butter
Crunchy vegetable sticks with dip
Hummus and pita wedges or bread sticks or veggies
Fruit smoothie made in a blender with fresh fruit, yogurt, and juice
Sliced tomato with mozzarella cheese
Melon cubes with a slice of turkey
Hard-boiled egg with a slice of whole-grain bread
Bowl of cereal with milk
Banana slices with peanut or nut butter
Ants on a log
Popcorn and chopped dried fruit (raisins, dates, apricots, etc)
Chunks of avocado, cucumber, or cooked sweet potato
Toasted whole grain breads or crackers with fruit spread or nut butters
Graham crackers or gingersnaps dipped in applesauce
Mini rice cakes with peanut butter
Apple slices with hazelnut butter
Dried fruits, especially raisins
Frozen bananas blended with a little non-dairy milk
Applesauce or other fruit cups
Nuts, especially mixed with dried fruit
Homemade mini-muffins or cornbread
1 ripe avocado
½ lemon juice
1/4 clove garlic (optional)
Mash avocado, crush garlic add lemon juice.
Apple and date jam
1 Apple (or if your prefer, use a banana)
5 Dried apricot (optional)
¼ Cup of water
Blend all the ingredients well and spread on toast, bagels or wholemeal muffins
Banana and berries ”yoghurt”
¼ cup almond or cashew nuts
¼ pint of frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries or strawberries)
Juice of 1 squeezed orange Blend until smooth.
Chocolate mocha shake
¼ cup coconut milk
¼ cup dried coconut
½ teaspoon un-processed honey (not for under 1 year-olds!)
¼ teaspoon carob bean powder
2 frozen bananas
Blend until smooth.