In today’s day and age, healthy snacks for children can be hard to make appetizing. But with just a little creativity and a trip to the grocery store, you can keep your children satisfied with tasty treats throughout the day.
Dry fruits and nuts can be made in many different combinations to suite your child’s fancy. Toss nuts, dried fruit, and carob chips (if necessary!) together for a trail mix that will keep your child full of energy. The nuts provide protein and fat, while the fruit gives a burst of energy to carry them through the day. If your child does not enjoy the individual pieces involved in trail mix, try grinding equal amounts of whole almonds and raisins together in a blender until they reach a dough-like consistency. Then roll them into balls and roll in carob powder for some healthy, confectionery delights. These raisin balls never last long, so be sure to make enough to last the week.
Besides being tasty, these nut-and-fruit snacks can be much less expensive than cookies or pre-packaged snack packs from the grocery store. They are free from most of the preservatives used, carry no risk of food poisoning, and can be made with the children for a fun afternoon activity. If you are pressed on time, check your local grocery store’s energy bar selection for Lara Bars. These bars are essentially the same, but come in a variety of flavors such as ginger snap, coconut creme pie, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Again, they are made of nuts, dates, and seasonings, with occasional other ingredients depending on the flavor desired. They are a wonderful alternative to making your own snacks.
Another quick and easy snack that will provide plenty of energy for your child is hummus and chips. Nearly every grocery store sells hummus in their deli department, but if you are feeling particularly adventurous and budget-wise, simply grind together a can of cooked chickpeas, a clove of garlic, and half a lemon’s worth of juice. Add water to improve consistency, then salt to taste. This Middle Eastern dish is great to serve with celery sticks or pita-bread triangles for an afternoon snack, and your kids will reap the nutritional benefits of hummus. Again, the beans provide a steady source of protein, while the pitas give that energy boost right away. Easy ideas such as homemade hummus can easily be sent along to school or simply stored in the refrigerator for any snack time needs.
These two ideas can be modified to fit your child’s taste. For example, try adding a bit of cinnamon or honey to the raisin balls for a totally new flavor. Add a touch of curry or chili powder to the hummus for a new twist. These ideas are the perfect healthy snacks for children. And while nourishing their little bodies, you can be saving your pocket book at the same time.