Choose snacks that are free of artificial food colorings, dyes, sweeteners, ones that are not genetically modified, and are low in sugar. The best snacks are tasty, balanced, and accessible. Balanced snacks are ones that combine fruit and or vegetables with proteins, fiber and fats. Such as apples and cheese, nuts and fruit, veggies and hummus. Choose whole fruit over fruit juice. Soda is not an acceptable snack for kids, ever.
- Fruit kebabs. Buy some kebab skewers and create colorful strawberry, pineapple, grape, kiwi, and apple kebabs which kids can grab and go. Kids have fun making them, as well.
- Frozen grapes. They have the consistency of mini-popsicles, yet no added sugar and plenty of flavonoids.
- Ants on a log. Take celery sticks and smear them with almond butter and sprinkle with a line of raisins or dried cranberries.
- Raw nuts & dried fruit: almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews with unsweetened dried apricots, peaches, mangos, dates, or apples. Nuts, especially walnuts, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Seeds. Seeds are a rich source of vitamin E and some, like pumpkin seeds, have omega-3 fatty acids. Roast seeds yourself for extra crunch and less refined salt. 200F for approx. 7 minutes.
- Veggies and dip. There is no excuse for not having fresh vegetables on hand. Buy pre-chopped, pre-washed, bagged veggies if necessary. Any trans-fat free dip is fine. Children need high quality fat for neurological development, and fat helps you absorb many nutrients from vegetables. Carrots and hummus are a delicious combination. Hummus is available in most grocery stores and is rich in protein, or try carrots dipped in nut butter or a tablespoon of fresh avocado.
- Rainbow melons. Slice honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon to make a candy-colored natural treat.
- Nut butter (almond & hazelnut butters) on pears or apples.
- Apple or pear slices with cheese.
- Root fries. Slice yams, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, beets, parsnips into wedges, place them in a glass baking dish, mix with extra virgin olive or a few dollops of coconut oil, spice with salt, pepper, rosemary, dill, etc. and bake at 375F for 45 minutes, or until crisp but not burnt.
- Mix a bowlful of seasonal berries, including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Whip up some heavy whipping cream, add a splash of vanilla and 100% maple syrup. Serve a bowl of berries with a scoop of the homemade whip cream for a delightful treat.
- Roll ups. Layer thinly sliced turkey breast (ideally nitrate free), spinach leaves, mayonnaise (ideally soybean oil free) on a sprouted grain or whole grain tortilla. Roll up and slice into tasty disks. Roll ups also work with tuna salad, refried beans, and spreads such as hummus.
- Fruit leathers. A much wiser choice than the exceedingly popular fruit snacks and fruit roll-ups without the added sugar. Available in bulk quantities at Costco. Beware the “fruit juice” sweetened fruit snacks, if you read the label you will see that there is still a lot of sugar in these—another misleading marketing tool.
- A spoonful of avocado, goat cheese, or cottage cheese with salt & pepper or just plain.
- Brown rice cakes with nut butter and banana slices onto.
- Whole plain greek yogurt with fresh squeezed lime. Even makes a good substitute for sour cream.
- Raw energy balls
For more healthy recipe ideas see The Whole Life Nutrition website.