With obesity being such a problem with kids today, it’s no wonder that many parents are becoming more concerned about the food their children eat. Many school lunches aren’t properly balanced, leaving many children eating food that is nutritionally deficient and high in calories.
Being a concerned parent, it is only natural that you want to start packing your child’s lunchbox everyday and filling it with foods that not only taste great, but keep your child healthy.
The key factor that you need to remember is that taste trumps nutrition. If it tastes good, they won’t notice that it is also good for them. So don’t fall for the trap of convenient, high calorie kids snacks in supermarkets, especially when you can fill your child’s lunch box with these fifteen healthy snack ideas.
1. Homemade trail mix – Kids love to snack on stuff by the handful and naturally lean towards food they can eat in bite-sized servings. Moms love it because you can also sneak all sorts of good stuff in there – dried fruit bits, seeds, etc. – without them being any wiser.
2. Chips & salsa – Always a perennial favorite; you can even make homemade salsa and tortilla chips on the weekend for more control over what your kids are eating.
3. Veggie chips– Before you grab that 10-pack of not-so-good-for-you chips, try the veggie ones. Chips and puffs made from vegetables often include a bit more in the vitamin area, and most kids do like them. Try a bag next time.
4. Hummus– This Middle Eastern chickpea dip is super healthy and is another great way to serve up those baby carrots. Dips and kids are always a hit.
5. Mini kabobs– Use small wooden skewers and thread grapes, small cubes of cheese and leftover ham or chicken. Healthy, tasty and fun.
6. Tzatziki– Originally from Greece, this garlicky yogurt dip is not for everyone but may just suit your kid’s need for saltiness. Great with sliced cucumbers or pita chips.
7. Cheese – Single serve cheeses are awesome. They include a dose of calcium and protein. Include a toothpick for fun eating.
8. Peanut butter– Sure, PB & J sandwiches are everywhere but try a single serve pack of flavored peanut butter, if your school hasn’t banned it. Super healthy, low in sugar and the squirt-in-your-mouth-fun-factor lets it compete head-to-head with sugary snacks, and win.
9. Apple with caramel – Single-serve caramel tubs and sliced apples are a great, healthy snack for kids of all ages.
10. Fruit medley – For some reason, if you stick an orange in your kid’s lunch box, it comes back to you, untouched. If you stuff a small Tupperware with a strawberry, a few raspberries, some blueberries and a slice or two of that same orange, they will eat every last bite. Go figure.
11. Vegetable medley – It’s the same with vegetables. A plastic zip-top bag with baby carrots gets old. But fill that Tupperware with a few carrots, a piece of cauliflower, a broccoli floret and a few cherry tomatoes and wow! Vanishing act. Be sure to pack a single serve ranch dressing packet for guaranteed success.
12. Tuna – If you child loves prepared snack packs and lunch kits, try single-serve tuna packs with whole wheat crackers. It lets them think they “won” but still gets them to eat healthy.
13. Organic fruit snacks and leathers – Honestly, these are great, healthy snacks when done right, meaning with organic and minimal added sugar.
14. Yogurt – This is a great snack in its natural state, but not so great when you stir in sugary, chemically add-ins. Try organic vanilla with Grape Nuts cereal. It gives the added crunch your child is looking for, with the healthy twist moms like.
15. Celery with PB and raisins – A classic snack that’ll make them think of mom. Yeah!
Of course, these are just a few of the possibilities. If you have a great lunchbox snack idea that is both healthy and kid-friendly, tell us about it in the comments below!