You’re headed out the door. You have a list of errands a mile long and it’s summertime, so that means the kids are going with you. You’re lucky if you remember to grab your purse on the way out the door – you certainly don’t have time to pack quick and healthy snacks for the kids, right? Wrong!
You may have heard the expression, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Well, if you fail to plan for your kids’ ill-timed stomach rumblings, then you’ll probably end up giving them pre-processed, sugar-laden convenience foods. When we start kids down the road to healthy eating early, it’s the best way to ensure they maintain good habits for life.
I like to look at snack planning just as I do meal planning – do it once for the week and you’re done! Naturally, there are some snack staples I like to keep around the house, but sometimes you want a little variety to keep the kids interested.
Summertime snacks should be chosen with care. Exercise caution and pack snacks that can withstand the heat of the beach, park, and pool. Here are five of my favorite summertime snacks.
Granola can be a great source of fruit and fiber. Always read the ingredients before buying, as many granolas are full of sugar and corn syrup. Get one with natural sweeteners like honey or agave.
Dried fruit comes in many kid-friendly flavors, like cinnamon apple and banana. Just make sure you’re getting fruit and nothing but fruit – no preservatives, coloring or additives.
Beef jerky is a protein-filled satisfying snack, and it’s a great way to keep their energy up without loading them down with sugar. Be sure to buy a jerky that’s all natural and preservative free.
Air-popped popcorn can take a bit of getting used it because we’re so used to popcorn being drowned in butter and salt. But when hunger strikes, there’s nothing like this fiber rich, filling snack to satisfy those hunger pangs.
Nuts are a great source of natural protein, magnesium, iron and zinc, and they really fill you up fast. Try raw, unsalted nuts for an even healthier choice.
Bonus: Make your own snack mix by combining nuts, air popped popcorn, granola, and dried fruit. Better yet, let the kids mix it. The more involved they are, the more they’ll want to eat it! Packing healthy (and heat resistant) snacks for kids does take a little advance planning. But the end result is happy, healthy kids – and that makes it all worthwhile!
Ginnifer Gianelli often finds herself running in several different directions at once. Her snack planning includes healthy snack ideas for kids from Fooducopia.com