I often hear, “my kid wants junk.” She’s so hungry after school, carrot sticks won’t cut it! I’ll never be able to get them to eat healthy foods.
First, believe that change can occur – there are healthy foods your child will enjoy. I see eating habits improve all the time. When possible, get your child involved in meal and snack preparation. If she plays a role in food preparation at least a couple times a week, she will be more willing to try the foods served. Identify which snacks really need to improve or change entirely. If your child is eating cheese puffs every day, take them off the shopping list for a while. Some kids need a snack or mini-meal after school before dinner because lunch is served early in the day.
Healthy and tasty suggestions include:
- A piece of fresh fruit or a small box of raisins or dried apricots
- Low fat Greek style yogurt with honey, fresh or dried fruit
- Low fat laughing cow cheese with whole grain crisp crackers
- 100% home-made granola bars -try baking these together in place of cookies
- Fruit parfaits – A couple layers of low-fat vanilla yogurt, mixed with a low sugar crunchy cereal and colorful fruit (like grapes, orange segments, pomegranate or berries). Frozen berries can be put in the fridge to defrost and eaten the next day in a parfait at a margin of the cost.
- Whole grain cereal with low-fat milk
- Baked blue corn chips with salsa and, if desired, low-fat melted mozzarella and bean dip (canned refried beans without lard, mixed with a tablespoon of salsa, have great texture and taste)
- Crisp orange baby carrots, sugar snap peas, broccoli, or red or yellow sweet peppers with low-fat dip or hummus (try cutting them into clever shapes or arranging them in fun designs on a plate for greater appeal) low-fat cottage cheese and fruit
- Reduced-fat gouda or Swiss cheese and 100% whole grain crackers
- String cheese and grapes
- Walnuts and raisins (just watch the portion size)
- Fruit smoothies, made with low-fat milk (or soy milk), 1 tsp of honey, frozen banana and any other frozen fruit, cinnamon, and vanilla extract
- Canned pineapple in its own juices
- Find out more ways to have fun and creative snacks your kids will eat!