Good Snack Foods for Kids

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Mix up traditional fruit like oranges with something out of the ordinary, like kiwi.

Kids need to refuel more than three times a day. Snacking helps parents supplement meals to keep kids happy, healthy and on a nutritionally balanced diet. Prepackaged snack foods are often filled with empty calories and transfats, but nutrition-savvy parents can help gate-keep the good from the not-so-good snacks.

  1. Grains

    • Daily requirement standards for children suggests between three and six ounces of grains a day. For nutritious whole grain snacks, parents can give their children whole wheat muffins, breads and cereals. For a little pizzazz, mix berries or other fruits with grains to make something banana bread or cranberry muffins. Tortillas and pretzels are also good grain sources.

    Vegetables

    • In place of chips, try baking sweet potato slices for homemade sweet potato chips. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A, B6 and C. Broccoli and carrots are good dipped in low-fat ranch dressing or hummus, which is a spread made of mashed chickpeas and olive oil. Spread a healthy, all-natural peanut butter on celery to help kids get their one to two cups of vegetable servings a day.

    Fruit

    • Fruit presents a variety of options, from the classic apples and oranges to pineapple slices and raisins, which have fiber, potassium and vitamins. Unique fruits like cranberries and mangoes help keep kids interested. For the 1 to 1 1/2 cups of required fruit per day, dress up banana slices with peanut butter, or use fruit to spice up other snacks.

    Dairy

    • Kids should get two to three cups of dairy a day. From string to cubes, cheese is a good source of dairy. Parents can cut cheese into fun shapes with a cookie cutter, or serve it with tomatoes and a little bit of Italian dressing. Low-fat yogurt is a good option, especially with fruit or granola mixed in. For kids who crave ice cream, give them smoothies made with low-fat milk or yogurt, ice and a mix of fruit, like banana and strawberry.

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References

  • Photo Credit fruit salad with mixed fruit close up image by Du...¡an Zidar from Fotolia.com

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