Friday, May 13, 2011

Simple Snack Ideas for Kids

I admit it, I get bored and stuck in a rut for feeding my kids. I am not one of those moms who makes a smiley face out of veggies. I get so tired and frustrated when parenting magazines show off all these fancy food ideas to get your kids to eat this or that when really my kids wouldn't touch any of it. I have 3 kids (ages 6, 4 and 1) and all of them have different likes and dislikes when it comes to eating. My 6 year old I consider to be an average eater. He eats well, he eats balanced, but he doesn't eat anything terribly fancy or different. My 4 year old is picky. He won't eat most fruits and veggies without me hiding them. My 1 year old will eat pretty much anything you put in front of her. So what is a mom to do? Here are a few snack ideas that my kids will eat (well at least 2 out of 3, sometimes 3 out of 3) that are simple to do.

1. Hummus and pita - hands down a kid favorite. They love bread, they love dipping. Hummus is a great dip for kids as it isn't too flavor weird. It is bean based which gives them a little fibre in their day.

2. Cut up fruit - apples, bananas, kiwi, grapes, cherries, berries, pears - the list is endless. Try mixing them all into a fruit salad too - or mix in yogurt or use a container of yogurt for a dip.

3. Cheese and crackers - I know it's standard, there's a reason it is standard. You can mix it up a bit by trying new cheeses. How about gouda or gruyere?

4. Meat and cheese roll ups - I prefer low-sodium deli meat (like turkey) and a slice of swiss cheese for this. It is as it sounds. Take a meat slice, put a cheese slice on it and roll up. Yum!

5. Dry cereal and raisins - my kids love munching on Cheerios, Mini Wheat Bites and Shreddies, the raisins add a little sweetness

6. Snack Mix Boxes - a fantastic idea for any kid kitchen. Here's how it works. Take a Tupperware kind of container (a tall one). Have your kids pick out snack things they like (non-perishable) to go in. Layer up and put a lid on it. The next time they are snacky there's your go-to. Ideas for your containers: nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, cashews...), dried fruit (raisins, apricots, mango, berries...), dried cereal (Cheerios, Mini Wheat Bites, Shreddies...), goldfish crackers, M&M's, and sunflower seeds.

7. Cut up veggies - have a Tupperware box ready in your kitchen filled with cucumber, carrots and peppers - don't forget the dip for dippers. Celery is great with peanut butter, cheese whiz and raisins too.

8. Yogurt. My kids love it - always have.

9. Applesauce - another crowd pleaser

10. Fruit to go - We called these fruit leather when I was a kid. Just dried fruit strips but they love them. (and they are easy to pack around with you too)

11. Mini Muffins - there are so many kinds of healthy muffin recipes out there that kids love (click this link so see some of my favorite muffin recipes here

12. Fruit smoothie - if you have a blender, this is so easy - a little bit of fruit, (I keep overripe bananas and a bag of berries in the freezer), some yogurt and blend. Delicious. (Not sure? try this one)

There are my top 12 snack ideas. I'd love to hear what your kids go-to snacks are.

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