Providing healthy and well-balanced meals for your children can be challenging on its own, and snack time is where our energy and commitment to making sure our children are eating right might wane. “2 hours until dinner and you’re hungry? Oh fine, just eat whatever’s in the cupboard.” And of course, whatever they choose from the cupboard is filled with their favorite ingredients: fat and sugar! If you want to keep your camper stocked on healthy and, yes, convenient and portable snacks that will keep them energized both at summer camp and at home, you’ll have to get creative!
1. At some point, somebody realized that kids love anything on a stick, and sometimes the addition of a simple Popsicle stick is enough to get a kid to choose the healthy snack over the junk. Try sticking Popsicle sticks into the rinds of watermelon slices for an instant smile and slightly cleaner hands! You can also do this with a variety of other fruits, like honeydew or cantaloupe, peeled kiwi, or a banana!
2. A little preparation goes a long way with these honey-yogurt-berry-pops! Blend thick, protein-rich Greek yogurt with naturally sweet honey and vitamin-packed berries, pour into Popsicle molds or ice cube trays with a stick, freeze, and voila! Very little effort, lots of nutrition, and a good go-to when the kids want a treat. Line a lunchbox with aluminum foil and throw in some ice packs and your kid can bring this one to school or to camp!
Just like grownups, some kids have a sweet tooth, and for others, it’s all about texture. If you have a crunch-lover in your house, try…
3. Baked Apple Chips! Apples are inexpensive, come in a wide variety, and you can make a lot of these fibrous and tasty “chips” in advance and store or pack or future snacking.
4. Maple-almond Popcorn! Popcorn is generally high in fiber and low in calories, so it can stand to be spruced up with fatty nut butter and whole, chopped nuts. The nuts and nut butter are also rich in monounsaturated fats and protein to keep your little cruncher going! This snack can also be prepared in advance and is easily added to a packed lunch for hunger between-meals.
5. It’s hard to get kids to eat vegetables, much less something goopy and weird-looking like hummus, but, as with the aforementioned stick trick, kids like eating things in sandwich form too. Slice up a crunchy cuke and spread a layer of fiber and protein-rich hummus on one slice, and then top it with another for cucumber-hummus sandwiches. Or, for a sweeter spin on the sandwich theme, spread crunchy peanut butter between two banana slices for a bread-free PB & banana sandwich. (You can freeze these for summertime snacking, too!)
6. Ok, it’s time to give in and give your kid a brownie. What? A brownie? Wasn’t this supposed to be a healthy snack list? Well, chocolate-lovers, take note! You can make that brownie recipe a lot healthier by making these black bean brownies! These treats are still rich-tasting and chocolatey, and are fit for gluten-free eaters. If you bake several large batches in one go, you can freeze and thaw as often as you or your kids crave them!
Do you have your own favorite healthy snack recipes you’d like to share? Leave a comment! Contact us for more information!