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Raising a tiny human, a mini you, teaches you a lot of things. From life lessons to hacks, my child has taught me about love, patience, scanning the floor for legos before stepping, how to put my phone down, and much more. But one thing that I’m sure all parents will agree on is how important it is to always have snacks.
You know how kids get when they are so hungry that it makes them heated, frustrated, even angry — aka “hangry”? And hangry kids are no fun. With how active and quick to digest young ones tend to be, you must always be prepared.
It’s easy to have granola bars and packaged gummies on hand, but you want what’s best rather than what’s easier. Ok, sometimes you want what’s easier but let’s talk about best case scenario here. Not only did I feel a responsibility to take the best care of their bodies, but I wanted to instill healthy eating habits. So, I began to teach myself about child nutrition and how to make easy, kid-friendly meals.
Here are my two go-to afterschool snack recipes:
1. Avocado Cucumber Sushi Roll
This dish is very versatile; you can mix and match whatever fillings you want! It’s a great way to sneak in some raw veggies for picky eaters.
Using a whole grain toast with banana is just as sweet and yummy as plain white toast with jelly, but it has less added sugars and more healthy fiber.
Wanting to feed my kids healthy food, I naturally had to take on the lifestyle for myself. I’ve done my fair share of weight loss diets here and there and they never last, but I realized that I should care for my body as much as I care for my kids’. So as cliche and overused the phrase is, it’s not a diet; it’s a lifestyle. I’m in this change of diet for the long run because it’s not for me; it’s for my children. And in turn, that motivation has allowed me to put less stress on personal weight loss and yo-yo diets and be more concerned with nutrition and feeling good.
With that being said, being healthy is actually a lot easier than one might think, and so I challenge you to try and tweak some things in you and your kids’ eating lifestyles—starting with snacks! Here are some more healthy snack ideas that are on a heavy rotation in our household:
Fruits are sweet, refreshing, and loaded with vitamins. These personalized kabobs make eating more fun.
Popcorn doesn’t have to be drenched in movie theatre butter, this version is sweet like kettle corn but healthier. Plus, it’s a great alternative from chips and crackers—something you can carry around in a Ziploc.
Edamame is a great snack you can carry around that is loaded with protein and vitamin K. Plus, it’s so easy to make.
This the perfect summer treat, made with all-natural ingredients. It’s no secret that kids love popsicles, so they will surely love it.
One last thing: I’ve found that playing around with food presentation has been very effective at getting kids to give new foods a try! Plus, it’s actually a lot of fun being able to get creative with food.
The teddy bear toast, alphabet fruit kabobs, and watermelon pops are great examples of how you can get fun with food, but here are a few more ideas:
The cute critters are a perfectly fun way of getting the kids to eat raw veggies.
2. Hard-boiled Eggs
With just a black marker and cute egg cups, these hard-boiled eggs make adorable, protein-packed snacks.
3. Koala Oatmeal
You can play around with different fruits, nuts, and seeds to come up with fun designs that turn a bowl of oatmeal from bland and boring to cute and lively.