Raising three boys has its challenges! As a mother of 3, no matter how hectic it gets, I make it a priority to serve healthy food. As you can imagine making nutritious meals and snacks also involves making them interesting, especially under the scrutiny of three extremely active boys. I have tried to lead by example with healthy eating habits. Involving the entire family with eating well is a great way to establish the importance of healthy habits. Keeping it simple and fun will motivate rave reviews from the
finickiest of eaters!
I have gathered many great examples and ideas for healthy snacks, starting with my favorite- peanut butter (all natural)…. Graham crackers with peanut butter (raisins close by so they can create a masterpiece before they eat it up)… celery filled with peanut butter… place three raisins on top (ants on a log – yum) …. Banana covered with peanut butter! Fruit is always more fun to eat when placed on a skewer and yogurt for dipping, cut fruit into shapes and make a little creation or let your child help you make the creation. Hummus in a bowl with carrots and slices of red pepper growing from it like a garden ( or any other vegetable you may have in the fridge ) Homemade trail mix – go shopping with your kids to the bulk section and choose some nuts , seeds, berries, dark chocolate chips and have fun mixing it together at home. Low fat chocolate milk, almond milk, make your own smoothie – frozen banana, frozen blueberries, cup vanilla almond milk and a scoop of whey protein (one of our favorites )
Healthy snacks are important for your active kids before and after a physical activity. You want to give your kids something higher in carbohydrates with a small amount of protein before a game or event. A bowl of granola/oats with berries would be a good choice. The ideal time to re-fuel after is within 30 minutes (the window of opportunity) to take up more nutrients. A great time for the fruit smoothie! Fuel for the activity and re-fuel for a strong recovery.
Sometimes kids need a chance to play with their food, especially the picky eaters. Let the kids help to prepare snacks and meals- make it fun, here are a few creative ideas that you may want to share with the mothers of picky eaters!
Vegetable Flowers – makes eating your veggies fun. Celery for the stem, cucumber petals, spinach leaves, carrots for grass and hummus for the pond with fish crackers swimming (you could also do a fruit flower with yogurt pond)
Balls of Energy- easy to make- mash one banana and ½ cup crunchy peanut butter ( all natural) stir in ½ cup toasted wheat germ and roll into balls and roll on crushed peanuts , coconut or mini dark chocolate chips and chill.
Mini Bagel Critters – top with cream cheese – set out bowls of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, sliced red pepper, cucumber slices, pretzels and let the kids create their very own little edible critter!
Cucumber Race Car- Cut out the driver seat – add a radish as the driver, cut slices of cucumber for the wheels and stick them on using cream cheese …. See who can race to eat it first!
Lay the foundation for healthy eating and have fun discovering endless possibilities in creating healthy snacks!
Happy Healthy Snacking,