Note to Reader: Adults often steer kids towards processed, fried food assuming they won’t eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. I have surprised many a friend when I tell them their children enjoyed avocado, hummus, and quinoa at my house. Marie Oser’s article helps us expand our thinking into the realm of  healthy snacks for kids. Thanks Marie!

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor

Kids need a lot of energy to keep going.  As soon as the weekend arrives they are  on the go, riding their bikes, playing sports or off to the park to meet friends. Weekday schedules are out the window and it can be a challenge to make sure they are eating as well as they should.

It’s a good idea to stock up on small portable foods that pack a lot of nutrition. Kids, teens and ‘tweens all tend to eat lots of small meals throughout the day and it’s a good idea to keep wholesome snacks on hand. Whole grain waffles, pretzels, bread sticks, tortillas and pita pockets, hummus, granola and trail mix are convenient foods for a quick pick-me-up that are healthful and satisfying.

Any snack a child makes is a snack that child is likely to eat, and younger children will especially enjoy being involved in choosing and preparing simple snacks. Having fresh and dried fruit, popcorn, nuts, nut butters and a variety of raw veggies on hand can make quick and healthy snacking a breeze.

Here are six snack ideas that are healthful and economical. For healthy kids and a healthy planet, be sure to choose organic foods with little or no packaging.

Smart Snack Ideas:

  • Fruit kabobs are easy and fun. Chunks of fruit, such as apples, peaches, pineapples, bananas, grapes and strawberries are tasty and colorful. Little ones will appreciate most any fruit threaded onto wooden skewers.
  • Spread almond or peanut butter on thick slices of apples, pears and nectarines.  Cut fresh, crisp celery stalks into 3-inch pieces, fill with nut butter and sprinkle with fresh blueberries or raisins.
  • Smoothies are super easy to make and a great way to get a chilled beverage packed with sweet fruit, vitamins and minerals into your kids on hot summer day. Combine a handful of frozen strawberries, medium banana and a cup of fortified orange juice, soy, almond or rice milk in a blender and buzz for a minute.
  • Combine whole grain, ready to eat cereal and granola with dried fruit and nuts in a zipper-top sandwich bag for a tasty high-energy snack to go.
  • Carrot wraps are easy to make in advance. Spread a whole grain tortilla with hummus, top with carrot sticks, sliced avocado and baby spinach. Roll up, slice in half and wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Kids love dips. Hummus and guacamole in many styles are pretty convenient and widely available, but you can mash a ripe avocado with a dollop of your favorite salsa, too.  It doesn’t get much easier (or fresher) than that.
Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV, Follow Marie on Twitter:

Stress Free Kids created a story designed to encourage children to make healthy food choices while using positive statements for wellness. Caterpillar Choices can be found on our Indigo Dreams: Garden of Wellness CD.