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Healthy Snacks For Your Kids
It Started With My Home Daycare
Many years ago, in a time which seems so far away now, I used to have my own home daycare. In the state of Connecticut, daycare providers could get reimbursed if they followed a meal plan that provided health meals and snacks for the kids in their charge. As a mom of my first child, it was a wonderful way to learn how to give my own child healthy meals and snacks, as well as the children in my daycare. For each meal or snack, home daycare providers only received about one-half the reimbursement of what we paid for it, but it was better than nothing. Plus, we received a whole menu packet of different types of creative breakfasts, lunches, and snacks so the children could have variety in the healthy meals they were given at home day cares around the state.
I eventually had three children of my own and used these ideas with them as well as the children in my daycare.
A List of Healthy Snack Options
The following list is a list of the most popular choices of healthy snacks, based on the particular likes and dislikes of the children in my care:
- Popcorn sprinkled with shredded cheese
- Cheese sticks from the dairy department ( not the frozen kind)
- Yogurt sticks
- Whole wheat crackers and cheese ( made at home, not the pre-packaged kind)
- Whole wheat crackers and peanut butter ( Home made, not the pre-packaged kind)
- Celery, carrot or cucumber sticks, alone or dipped in yogurt or peanut butter
- Pretzels and cheese slices
- Pretzel sticks dipped in peanut butter
- Ants on a log ( celery sticks spread with peanut butter and sprinkled with raisins)
- Any of the following fruits: raisins, berries, cut up apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, pears, cantaloupe or honeydew melons, grapes ( cut up if they were for young children) served with peanut butter or yogurt as a dip. Plain yogurt or vanilla yogurt were favorites.
- Cereals: ( with milk or without): Corn, Rice or Bran Chex, Cheerios.
- Cut out slices of whole wheat bread ( use cookie cutters to cut heart shapes, etc.) spread with peanut butter and then add raisins to make a smiley face.
- If your kids are old enough to not choke on nuts, peanuts and almonds are wonderful snack choices. Serving peanuts in the shell also offers the challenge of breaking the shells open.
- Graham crackers spread with peanut butter. ( This is now one of my favorite healthy snacks as an adult too, but I use low-fat peanut butter)
- Whole wheat English Muffin with shredded cheese sprinkled on top and microwaved for 15 seconds. ( If your kids like tomatoes you can add a slice of tomato under the cheese to make a mini pizza)
Smoothies Make Good Snack Options
Now if you are creative and want to have the kids help you get the snacks ready, they can help you make a smoothie by counting out berries or grapes or banana slices and adding them to a blender or a Magic Bullet, etc. Magic Bullets are a nice way to make a smoothie, and each person can have their own individual color-coded cup, as the cups come with the Magic Bullet. By adding yogurt and milk, you can make a delicious smoothie that all will enjoy.
I recently received a Magic bullet as a Christmas gift and really love it. Magic Bullets are a nice way to make a smoothie, and each person can have their own individual color-coded cup, as the cups come with the Magic Bullet. By adding yogurt and milk, you can make a delicious smoothie that all will enjoy.
Here's a recipe I recently received from a friend for making a healthy and delicious smoothie that will also keep you regular:
Add 1 cup of frozen blueberries, 1 cup of sliced bananas, 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves and 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (vanilla or plain is fine). Blend and enjoy as a meal or a snack. It fills you up and is tasty and healthy.
These snack suggestions above were the most popular ones with my own children and the children in my home daycare. Whatever you choose, try to include the kids in making the snacks, and they will be more likely to want to eat them.
Whatever you choose as healthy snacks for your kids, enjoy them together. Happy snacking!