Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Healthy snack options for busy Moms

Busy!  That’s my excuse for anything I’m have a hard time accomplishing.

I’m a working Mom of two with a one hour commute each way, as I said, we’re busy.  Even as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, sometimes I struggle to provide healthy nutrition options for my kids.  Since having kids, I realize now how difficult it is to get them to eat things that are also packed with nutrition – especially if you have a very picky eater.

With summer approaching fast, I know I have to plan out snacks for my 6 year old to take to summer camps.  He isn’t super picky; however I have noticed the influence of peer pressure as he is starting to request snacks that fellow classmates consider to be cool.

I reached out to some of my Mom friends to see what their go-to healthy snacks were and top on their lists.  Here are some suggestions:

Smoothies: making smoothies at home can be fun for the kids and delicious, and since they are sweetened by the fruit itself you don’t need to add any sugar.

Dried fruit: I have been trying dried fruits for snacks and I was pleasantly surprised how well my kids accepted them.  My daughter even loved the prunes I offered her, especially the individually wrapped ones.  She thought it was candy!  I always add a few M&Ms and nuts to the dried fruits to provide a little variety.

Cheese: always a favorite and it is a great source of calcium and protein.  Most kids love it!

Dip it! I recently read in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that when vegetables were offered with a dip, the kids tended to eat significantly more of them.  I think I am going to try packing some ranch dressing with the baby carrots I send to school.

Fruit leather: Although this might not sound appealing, I have noticed that if I involve my kids in preparing the snack, they tend to eat it better.

What snacks work best in your house?

Farzeen is a registered dietitian nutritionist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, and is mother of 3 year old Freeya and 6 year old Neville.

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