It’s so easy to break open a bag of goldfish, pretzels or fruit snacks for your kids. The companies producing these products make it simple with individual servings, fun character themes and cute little shapes. But, guess what? These cute little snacks are full of chemicals and are made in laboratories. The list of ingredients is long and confusing, full of strange chemicals and carcinogens. With the onset of childhood obesity and developmental issues, it makes me wonder how these foods are affecting our children.
As a parent with young children I’m often asked advice on healthy alternatives. In the words of Dr. Lipman, choose foods that come from God, not from man. Keep it simple and do your best to feed your children real, whole foods.
In reality, preparing fresh food can seem overwhelming for parents, especially when there is such little time. There’s no need to be holed up in the kitchen by yourself slaving away. Why not make it an activity and do it with your kids? It’s fun and an ideal way to generate awareness around the food you’re eating.
To make it easy, here are the top five snacks my children gobble up in my house:
1. Homemade Popsicles
Popsicles are a crowd pleaser and such a great way to pack a huge amount of nutrition into a fun treat. I take one of my favorite smoothies and turn it into a popsicle. Here is the recipe:
8oz almond or coconut milk, handful of spinach, scoop of cacao, handful of cacao nibs, tbsp of chia seeds, ½ avocado and 4-5 cubes of ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Divide among molds or paper cups. Cover and freeze until firm and serve!
2. Sweet Potato Chips or Squares
Kids love the crunch of a good chip and it’s simple to make them on your own. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees, slice 2-3 sweet potatoes (parsnips or carrots work well too!) in ½ inch circles or squares. Brush them with olive oil and pop in the oven for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and serve.
3. Ants On a Log
This is a new spin on this old school favorite snack and it happens a to be a fun project for the kids.
These days there are so many ways to make this filling, protein rich snack. I recommend swapping peanut butter for almond, cashew or sunflower seed butter. As an alternative, you can use dried cranberries instead of raisins.
4. Cucumber Slices and Hummus
Cucumbers? Yes, I know. Kids can be picky eaters. In my experience, it’s all about the presentation. If they reject it on the first attempt, try it another way. For cucumbers, trim the skin, slice and allow the kids to dip it in the hummus themselves. If your kids don’t like hummus, try slicing the cucumber into ribbons, sautee in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
5. Warm Banana Roll-Ups
My kids love a sweet snack as a special treat. Instead of cookies or candy, bananas are naturally sweet and when combined with honey and cinnamon, they’re super yummy. Mix almond butter, cinnamon and honey in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on a Ezekiel sprouted tortilla, place a banana in the center and roll it up. Heat a little coconut oil on a small plan and grill sides until it’s golden brown and gooey inside. Slice in small bites, bind with a toothpick and serve!
Tell us, what healthy snacks do your kids love to eat?