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.