We all know how important nutrition is to life. For children, this is even more important as the correct kinds of food served in the right amounts can provide them with the necessary building blocks for their growth and development. While snacks should never replace good quality meals, these small bite-sized portions of food should never be any less nutritious than the main meals that we serve our kids. Snacks should be as healthy as the food that we eat during mealtimes. And since we’re talking about kids, they really have to be colorful, fun, and very appetizing as well. Here are 10 healthy snack ideas that you can prepare for your kids.
10 Healthy Snack Ideas For Kids
A Plate of the Solar System
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To do this, you will need a large plate preferably one that is colored dark blue or anything that can mimic the color of the galaxy as you will be recreating the Solar System. You’ll need several pieces of round-shaped food items that will serve as the planets that will surround the Sun. For the Sun, place a slice of ripe orange, cut crosswise. For the different planets, you’ll need eight different fruits of different sizes. You can get a chickpea for Mercury, a slice of banana for Venus, a slice of kiwi for Earth, a grape for Mars, a slice of pepperoni for Jupiter, a slice of cheese for Saturn, a slice of pear for Uranus, and a blueberry for Neptune. Now, add the stars. Get your Greek yogurt and place tiny dollops in between the planets and the Sun. You can also arrange a ring of rice crisps in between Mars and Jupiter to simulate the asteroid belt. Kids will love devouring the planets. They’ll be learning from it, too.
Banana and Kiwi Palm Tree
Get a piece of banana and cut it lengthwise. This serves as the trunk of the palm tree. Cut a kiwi and slice it thinly making sure you create gentle curves. Now, get a plate and arrange the banana and the kiwi slices such that the kiwi will naturally fan out from the top of the banana palm tree trunk. For additional nutrition, you can add a few pieces of green grapes to serve as coconut fruits. This snack idea will surely transport your kids to a delicious holiday in some tropical island paradise. Banana is an excellent source of potassium which is essential for healthy and optimum muscle development. For kids, this simply means stronger muscles to help them run, jump, and play all day long. Kiwis, on the other hand, are excellent sources of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C as well as copper and potassium. Vitamin E is needed for healthier skin and hair while Vitamin K is important for normal blood clotting.
Cheese is rich in calcium as well as other nutrients. Instead of giving your child plain cheese sticks, why not make for him or her a cheesy octopus? Get a string cheese and persevere to cut its bottom in half about halfway through. Keep cutting the cheese stick in half until you get eight strips on the lower half of the string cheese and a single stick on the upper half. Now spread the eight “legs” which will serve as the octopus’ tentacles. For the eyes, you can stick two pieces of raisins. Kids will be eating at the tentacles first before they’re going to hit the head.
Fruity Ice Pops
Children love frozen delights. The good thing about this particular idea is that you can take full control of what you are going to put into your popsicle cups. You can mix non-fat Greek yogurt with your favorite fruit juice. For example, kids love orange, apple, or even strawberry. Pour the mixture into plastic cups or molds and put popsicle sticks in each cup. You can also add bits of your favorite fruit. Put in your freezer and let it harden to an icy and nutritious deliciousness. This is an excellent source of healthy fats, vitamin C, and other nutrients necessary for optimum functioning.
Just like our fruity ice pops, you can also give your kids smoothies. Whatever you do, it is best not to use ingredients that contain preservatives. Natural ingredients are still the best. Mix non-fat vanilla yogurt, banana, and orange juice to make the base of the fruity smoothie. You can then add fruits in season. This should help provide your kid with the fiber he or she needs to aid in proper digestion and elimination of wastes. Additionally, the antioxidants and other phytochemicals found in fresh fruits should help prevent a variety of health conditions known to affect many of today’s children.
Grape and Apple Car
Kids, especially young boys, love cars or any other ride-on toys. Here are two ways you can bring your kid’s favorite car or scooter into his or her plate. For the nutritious car, you’ll need a slice of apple about half an inch to an inch thick. The shape you want to achieve is that of the classic Volkswagen Beetle. Next, insert a toothpick on opposite ends of the slice. This will serve as the axle for your wheels. Push a grape into each end of these toothpicks to serve as the wheels. For the scooter, you’ll need a string cheese to serve as the chassis of the scooter. Insert a stick of pretzel into one end of the cheese then attach another stick of pretzel onto the first, forming a T and serving as the handlebar of the scooter. Insert toothpicks on both ends of the string cheese then slide cucumber slices into the toothpicks to serve as wheels. These creations will surely be loved by your kid. Whoever thought that snack time can be this fun?
Mozzarella and Tomato Caterpillar
Cheese is rich in calcium as well as vitamins and other minerals necessary for strong bones which kids really need. Tomatoes, on the other hand, are excellent sources of vitamin C and phytochemicals that help enhance the function of the immune system. At any rate, you’ll be ensuring the optimum health of your kids while making snack time a really fun time. Get several mozzarella balls or any other type of cheese that you have and form them into small balls. You will also need grape tomatoes. Now arrange the tomatoes and the mozzarella alternately in a plate. Make sure to arrange them in such a way that it mimics the wiggly movement of a caterpillar. Apply eyes using a small dollop of hummus. Stick an antenna made of toothpick halves.
Peanut Butter Volcano
Many individuals are quite afraid of giving their kids peanut butter because of its oils. However, science reveals that the kind of oil present in peanut butter is actually a healthy variety. While you can always prepare for your child an excellent serving of peanut butter and jelly sandwich, there is a more interesting and more fun way of giving your child his or her favorite peanut butter. Put about 2 tablespoons of your peanut butter unto your kid’s plate and shape it into a volcano. Create a hole in the middle of the peanut butter volcano and then pour your kid’s favorite jelly, preferably something red or orange to simulate lava. Additionally, it is best to use homemade fruit jellies as these usually don’t contain preservatives. Children will have an entirely different experience with their peanut butter and jelly.
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Strawberries are one of the most nutritious fruits on the planet. They are packed with Vitamin C, manganese, folate, fiber, and potassium which is very important in muscle development. The vitamin C and folate that it contains help in cellular regeneration and tissue repair. Kids can benefit a lot from these nutrients. Unfortunately, because of the rather high Vitamin C content of strawberries, they do have a certain taste that some kids may not like. One way to entice them is to present it as a beautiful flower. You’ll need several pieces of strawberries cut in quarter-inch slivers lengthwise. Arrange these to form the petals of your flower. Cut a stalk of celery and use this as the flower’s stem as well as leaves. In the center of the strawberry flower, you can fill the space with blueberries to provide contrast to your red petals.
Teddy Bear Toast
Get a slice of whole wheat bread and toast it to your desired doneness. Cover the toast with a good amount of peanut putter. Now slice a banana crosswise and place two slices on opposite ends of the toast’s top corners. These will serve as the Teddy Bear’s ears. Place another banana slice in the middle of the toast to serve as the bear’s snout. Add some raisins as eyes and stick a blueberry on the bear’s snout to act as its nose. Your kid will now have the cutest Teddy Bear toast ever.
There are other healthy snacks that you can make for your child. It’s important to choose healthy and nutritious ingredients and to prepare them in such a way that your kids will be eating them first with their eyes. If it looks yummy to them, then they’d eat it.
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