AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Healthy Snacks – As parents we all have experienced those time when you’re standing in line at the DMV (or some other important yet endlessly irritating line). You’ve been in there for an hour and you’re only halfway through.  And that’s when you hear your 3 year old, “Mom, I’m hungry.” Oh, those dreaded words.
Healthy Snacks Healthy Snacks for Kids that Taste Good

For those prepared mom’s out there that can haul their entire kitchen with them, it’s not a problem. For busy mom’s like me who rush out the door and are lucky they remembered their keys, it’s a big problem. You fumble through your purses looking for something they can eat: crackers, fruit snacks, anything. But of course, there’s nothing there. That’s when you pull the Tic Tacs. Yes, you feed your hungry child an entire box of Tic Tacs. If not filling or healthy, at least they’re entertaining.

Those situations are tough. You don’t want to hand your kid a candy bar, sugar is the last thing a 3 year old needs, but they need something while you’re out and about. You can’t have refrigerated foods, unless you feel like packing a cooler (but you already have diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, bottles, sippie cups, formula and toys; you don’t need to add a cooler on top of all that!)

Sometimes, being at home is just as hard. If your kid says he’s hungry it can be easy to pull out the sugar cereal and pour a bunch in a cup and send them on their way. But is that really the best thing for them? No, it’s not. Those kinds of foods are just empty calories. They won’t do anything to fill up your child; they will just be hungry 10 minutes later, asking you for more cereal.

There are three things that make it seem like junk food is the way to go:

1: It’s everywhere. It’s at checkout stands, on display at the grocery store, at the gas station and on all the TV commercials.

2: It’s cheap. It seems like junk food is always on sale.

3: It’s almost guaranteed that your kids will like it.

These are easy pitfalls to fall prey to, but don’t do it! Resist the temptation. There are other ways to make sure your kids are eating healthy snacks that are easy to pull together and allow you to stay in your budget.

There are different snacks for different occasions. There are times that you will be at home and times you will be out. Each situation has limitations and benefits.

Healthy Snacks On the Go

When all you have is your diaper bag, you need snacks that are small, not messy and easy to give to your children. These are some of my favorite healthy snacks to give my kids when we’re out.

  1. A lot of parents say their kids struggle with eating vegetables, but this is my number one go-to snack when I’m running out the door. I always keep a small Tupperware container in the fridge with carrot slices, broccoli and celery. This is easy for me to throw in my bag because it’s already cut up and in a container.

I can put the Tupperware in my bag without worrying about it being smashed or opened. I also like them because I can give them to my kids in the car and don’t have to worry about a crumbly mess. I have also learned that the earlier you start your kids on vegetables the more they will like them as they grow up.

  1. Dried fruit is another excellent option. Like veggies, it’s not messy and it’s easy to store. You can either buy it, or if you have a drier, you can make your own. I prefer to make my own, that way I can control the amount of sugar going on it.
  2. Granola is one of my personal favorites. I make my own, it’s much cheaper than buying it and it’s fairly easy to make. It is not something that I let my kids eat while we’re in the car, but if we’re walking around somewhere, I’ll put some in a little cup or a baggie for them to hold.

Healthy Snacks At Home

At home is where you’ll have most of your options. You have all the ingredients and appliances you need to make whatever you want. The biggest challenge you will face at home is time. There are days when you will have time to make a more elaborate snack and days when you just need something quick.

Time Savors:

  1. String cheese is one of my favorite things for my kids. I buy it in bulk and they love it. It’s a fun snack that’s healthy that also keeps them entertained. The biggest problem I find with it is keeping my kids from feeding it to the dog.
  2. Depending on the time of year, fruit popsicles are another fun treat for kids. You can buy the healthier brands or you can make your own. I make a fruit smoothie and then freeze it in popsicle cases. My kids love them any time of year but I usually make them when fruit is in season.

Time Takers:

  1. Air popped popcorn. Don’t worry about adding butter, oil, salt or anything. Kids will love it just plain. They can eat while they color, play with toys or watch a show. You just have to be willing vacuum when they’re done!
  2. Zucchini or banana muffins are really tasty and they’re healthy. You can add a little sweetness to them by adding semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Whatever you do, don’t fall for the stereotype that the only fast, easy and cheap food is unhealthy. You have a lot of options available to you. At first it might take a little bit of time to find new things to try, but once you find some things that your kids like, it will be worth it. You will have that assurance that what is going into their bodies is healthy for them.

About Author : Kathryn Mott is a mother of 2. She loves trying new recipes and finding new ways to eat healthy. She works for PMI as a content creator.
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