Thank you all for joining us a REMIX last week. I don’t know about you, but I felt blessed with worship, encouragement, and knowledge that was shared! Did you change anything in your pantry last week? Did you try any new meals or snacks? How about the quick and easy exercise routine? I used Jaime’s tip of baking a batch of chicken and used it for some quick & easy lunches last week. It helped us eat healthier lunches on busy days!
I have so many tips that I wasn’t able to share with you that I would like to share now.
First, we know it is easy to have processed foods for our kids snacks. We reason that they are eating healthy at their meals, so some packaged snacks won’t hurt. I know that the mealtime struggle is often enough, to also struggle with snacks may seem overwhelming. But processed foods don’t give our kids the nutrition they need. They are constantly growing, and every calorie counts. When kids have the proper nutrition, they perform better physically, mentally, and emotionally. They also fight off illness better. For this reason, it is important that all their calories, including snacks, are nutritious. Same thing goes for you, too, moms.
I discussed hummus at our session, but in case you forgot some of my ideas or want a recipe you can check it out on Kitchen Instruction Manual.
Find a healthy tuna recipe – try removing the mayo and adding plain greek yogurt from your favorite recipe. You can also use canned salmon for extra omega-3s. There is a great option at Costco that is only salmon and a little bit of salt – no additives! Store that mixture in the fridge and you can use it in several different ways:
Spread it on toast or English muffin for a small meal or larger snack
Slice one-inch pieces of cucumber crosswise and scoop out half of the middle with a melon baller or spoon and fill with tuna
Fill any green leaf with tuna
Mix in breadcrumbs or panko form into patties and pan fry in a healthy oil (can be used as a slider for a meal too!)
Cut up veggies and place them in snack bags or small containers that are easy to open. Place them in a spot that it easy to reach for more independent children. Eat plain or with dip. For a little bit of fun, flatten a slice of bread with a rolling pin, spread a thin layer of cream cheese and roll up a stick of veggies. Cut them into little “sushi” bites.
Hard boiled eggs – eat plain, make a healthy deviled egg, or mix up an egg salad. Use the egg salad in similar ways as you would tuna (see above).
Spread a whole wheat or gluten free tortilla with chocolate hazelnut spread, place a banana on one edge, and roll up.
Cut up different colored fruits and skewer them (may be done in advance). You can also add cheese! Even though it is fruit, let your kids eat this whenever! If they don’t have an appetite for dinner, at least it was fruit that they were eating.
Mix granola or rolled oats with peanut butter to form into balls. This is great for portion control for us moms, and for some reason kids love food in ball shapes!
Get your kids involved in their snacks by making a DIY trail mix. Spoon mixed nuts, granola or cereal, a favorite dried fruit, and dark chocolate chips (optional) into a bowl then portion into bags or single serving containers. Keep these in your purse, and your kids backpack for on-the-go snacks. Kids are more likely to eat when they have a choice or helped make something!
Another way to give your kids a choice in their snacks is to write out a list of available snack options on a chalk or white board (or draw pictures if your kids can’t read). If you struggle with snacks, be sure to plan them out when you are planning your meals for the week. If you don’t menu or meal plan, read up on why you should and download my meal planning worksheet.
Go one step beyond letting your kids choose from a healthy choice of snacks; teach them what a healthy choice is. One simple way is to ask your kids this question: “Which snack will help you grow stronger and run faster – An apple or a cookie?”
Give your kids a healthy snack, and they will eat healthy for one day, teach your kids how and why to choose a healthy snack they will eat healthy for a lifetime.