According to the American Heart Association up to 20% of our daily nutrient intake comes from snacks. After school snacking for kids can be a time to choose nutrient rich foods. Studies show half of kids are choosing snacks that are in the category of “sometimes foods” and are unhealthy. 46% of kids said they chose their snacks based on taste. As we all know some of the tastiest foods are laced with sugar, artificial sweeteners, and are very processed. It is important to snack on real natural foods.
As your child grows, it’s important for them to get all the recommended daily vitamines, nutrients, calories, proteins, and minerals to build strong healthy bodies. Don’t waste the opportunity to get those extra nutrients in your child by feeding them unhealthy snacks. Think of snacks as “mini meals” that optimize the ability to reach your daily goal of nutrients.
Here are some ideas of healthy snacks kids and adults can enjoy together to maximize daily vitamines, nutrients, calories, proteins, healthy fats, and minerals.
Healthy Snack Ideas and “Mini Meals”
Fruit and yogurt or cottage cheese
Mini rice cakes and peanut butter/Almond butter
Baked Pita Chips and bean dip
Whole wheat english muffin and sliced banana with honey and/ or peanut butter/almond butter (I like any Justin’s Nut Butter Products!!)
Dried fruits and nuts
Raw veggies and fat-free salad dressing. Dressing you can see through are the best options usually (ex: oil and vinegar). I also recommend getting your produce local at a local farmers market. That way you know where your food is coming from, it tastes better, and you can get great deals on seasonal produce. My favorite market is the Hillsboro Farmers Market. They even accept SNAP and Oregon Trail Cards.
Pretzels or whole wheat crackers and low-fat cheeses
Tara Arnold, RN
Mrs. Oregon America 2013