School is out. What does this mean? “Mom, I’m hungry.” As if school lunches and after-school snacks aren’t difficult enough, summer meals and snacks are challenging, too. I get questions all the time about what to feed kids, and the biggest complaint is people don’t want to be in the kitchen all day, every day.
Adults everywhere are meal-prepping to meet weight-loss goals. But are they doing the same for their children? It can and should be done.
Plan your snacks to include a protein, healthy fat and healthy carb. A healthy combination like this will help kids feel fuller longer and provide nutrients needed for healthy growth and development.
Protein snacks include:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- String cheese
- Beef jerky or dried sausage (low sodium, if possible)
- Cottage cheese
- ½ peanut butter sandwich
Carbohydrate snacks include:
- Fresh fruit
- Raw veggies
- Unsalted crackers or pretzels
- Light popcorn
- Homemade bran muffins
- Fruit cups (if out of fresh fruit)
- Strawberries with light cool whip
- Mixed nuts
- Natural cheeses
Think outside the box – literally. Try to get away from boxed, packaged and processed foods. Offering natural foods is healthier and will teach the kids healthier food habits. Have your children pick the fruits and vegetables they’ll eat each week and wash and cut them up in advance. It’ll make snack time much easier.
Also, never underestimate the power of leftovers. Just doctor up the leftovers with something new such as a fruit or different vegetable.