Get Out of Your Snack Rut

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I am in officially in a snack rut.  And with summer here and kids home all day, I needed some new healthy snack ideas for kids. Stat. Because when I am not prepared, the kids go and help themselves to stuff in the cupboard, you know the cereal bars and packaged stuff. Not good.

So I called upon my friend, Kelly, a personal trainer with a passion for fitness and nutrition, to give me some new healthy snack ideas for kids. To read more recipes from Kelly visit www.sneakersandskillets.com.

10 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids

(and adults too!) 
by Kelly Evans

healthy snack ideas for kids

1. Go for Fresh Veggies + Fruits 

Before getting into recipes and snacks you have to put together, I just have to shout out to the fact that the best snack option ever is… RAW VEGGIES! I know you may cringe and your kids might not be super excited, but the health benefits are insane, and if you are buying fresh, organic produce, you may just find they taste a whole lot better! The tastiest raw veggies in my opion (get organic for better taste and better nutrients) are:

Carrots

Celery

Red, yellow or orange bell peppers

Sugar snap peas

Cucumbers

Cherry tomatoes

Jicama

Fresh fruit is a definite runner up to a great choice for snacking as well – especially if you have a sweet tooth! Again – shoot to purchase organic, no pesticides produce whenever you can.

And If You Just Gotta Dip…

If you or your kids have to have a dip for your veggies, hummus is a great option, but read your ingredient label and look for minimal added processing agents, also check your portion size and don’t over-dip!

Almond butter is also a great dipping option – again check your portion size.

Also try apples with Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Dip <— my favorite recipe!

Peanutbutter-dip

2. Coconut Oil Popcorn

Melt about 2 TBS coconut oil in a large pot over med-high heat.

When the oil is piping hot, pour in 1 cup of popping corn.

Cover and wait for your corn to pop – shake your pot here and there to prevent kernels from burning.

When you hear the popping subside, remove from the heat and immediately transfer to a large bowl.

Shake a bit of pink Himalayan sea salt over. Yumm!

coconut oil popcorn

3. Mudballs

½ cup peanut or nut butter alternative & ½ cup honey melted together over low heat, add:

½ cup flax seed meal

½ cup sesame seeds

½ cup cocoa

1 cup oats

Mix all together and roll into balls. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

4. Funky Monkey Smoothie

In a blender combine:

8 oz milk or substitute

1 handful spinach

1 frozen banana

2 TBS cocoa

1 TBS honey

2 TBS peanut butter or nut butter substitute

Handful of ice.

Blend until smooth.

roasted 5. Roasted Broad Beans

These roasted broad beans are our new favorite snacks, especially for on the go.

We get the sea salt variety, but there are many different flavor varieties.

I find there are extra/unwanted ingredients when you start getting flavored things – so if you can, just stick to sea salt!

Sprouts usually has them on sale, 2 bags for $6.

6. Roasted Sea Salt and Vinegar Chickpeas

You can make your own, or buy them at your local market. Crunchy, salty, and you can even make cinnamon and sugar varieties…! Similar to the broad beans, but a nice switch sometimes.

Here is a great recipe for homemade salt and vinegar chickpeas.

salt-and-vinegar-roasted-chickpeas-1-5

7. Raw Nuts

I know it may seem a little boring, but they are crunchy, munchy, and healthy! I like to have a little cup that is the correct portion size (about 1/8 – ¼ cup is a serving), pour my amount, and when they’re gone, they’re gone…no over-indulging!

8. Almond Butter Greek Yogurt Parfait

8 oz plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 TBS almond butter, or alternative
2 TBS hemp hearts

This feels almost like a special treat or indulgence in the middle of the day – but it’s so great for you – packed with protein, healthy fats, and yummy!!

9. Hard Boiled Eggs

These of course fall within your optimum nutritional food plan.

Drizzle with a bit of Siracha sauce, salsa, or homemade guacamole – you have a dynamite clean and high protein snack.

hard boiled egg

10. Easy Homemade Guacamole

Dump all together into a bowl:

1 avocado, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
¼ cup purple onion, finely diced
Pinch of salt – to taste
Juice from one lime – to taste

Smash everything together with a fork and add more lime juice or salt depending on flavor preference. Carrots, jicama and celery are super delish dipped into guac!

Healthy Guacamole

11. Chia Seed Pudding

I have made this three ingredient chia seed pudding a few times and really look forward to savoring it as a decadent treat. Perfect amount of sweet and super creamy – you can feel good knowing you are nourishing your body while eating it too!

three-ingredient-chia-pudding

 

Do you all have any good, healthy snack ideas for kids to share? Please comment below! 

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Sili Squeeze Reusable Snack Squeeze [+ Giveaway and Coupon Code!]

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When we are out and about, I have to admit the snacks I pack for my kids are not always the freshest or healthiest.  For time and convenience, most of the time the snacks I take along come out of a box. So when I heard about The Sili Squeeze reusable snack squeeze I was interested to give it a try. You can try it too if you win today’s giveaway (enter below!) I also want to share a special Sili Squeeze coupon codeSILITINYORANGES” for 10% off your purchase through 10/31/11.

The Sili Squeeze is a reusable squeeze that lets growing babies snack on purees, yogurt, applesauce, smoothies, etc. while on-the-go! Little ones as young as six months can use The Sili Squeeze and it is “mommy hands free” so your little ones can squeeze themselves silly whether in the stroller, car or shopping cart.

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Trader Joe’s Steelcut Oatmeal

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For years I have been hearing about how GREAT steelcut oatmeal is for you.

Problem? I am really not crazy about how it tastes.

So when I discovered Trader Joe’s Steelcut Oatmeal I did a little happy dance because I actually really like it!

It can be found in the frozen section and is flavored with brown sugar & maple syrup (which probably helps.) However, Erica from CoreAthletica.com gave it her stamp of approval for it’s low calorie count (only 150) and fairly low sugar content (7g.)

It only takes 3 minutes to heat and I have been topping it with fresh berries (recently blackberries or blueberries) and adding some sliced raw almonds for a little protein and fat.

It’s great for breakfast or a mid-morning snack and nothing like steelcut oats to keep your system movin’ along!

Wanted to share this little find  – because who doesn’t love a new TJ product to love?

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Guest Blog – Top Ten Snack Ideas

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Guest blog by: Michele, a freelance writer and the mom responsible for Fun Orange County Parks. She’s loves outings with her 7 year old boy and 3 year old girl.

Top Ten Snack Ideas for Park Playdates or All-Day Excursions

I’m not a health or nutrition expert, but I am an expert on trips to the playground and park with hungry kids. Snacks are a necessity and here are some easy ideas for pack-up and go:

1. Frozen Yogurt: Freeze squeezable yogurt for a cool, refreshing treat. They turn out like yogurt Otter Pops.

2. Cheese & Whole Grain: String cheese and whole grain crackers.

3. International Orange: Baby carrots dipped in your favorite hummus.

4. Fruit and Flakes: Toss raisins (or currants or blueberries) together with your favorite healthy cereal.

5. Mix It Up: Make your own trail mix or pick your favorite from the bins at Henry’s or TJ’s nut aisle.

6. Crazy Fruit and Veggies: I buy bags of shredded carrots and call it “Bunny Hay” or there’s even crinkle-cut carrots in some produce sections. Sometimes it just takes cutting something in an odd shape to get kids to eat it. My kids would never eat oranges until I cut them in eighths (instead of peeling them – they didn’t like the white fibers leftover from the peel).

7. Snail Sandwiches: Cut the crust off whole wheat bread. Squish the bread flat with the palm of your hand. Spread on some cream cheese. Chop fruit, veggies, and/or lunch meat very finely and roll. Now cut into slices for snail-shaped sandwiches.

8. Create with Grahams: Make graham cracker sandwiches out of peanut butter, or cream cheese, or even dip them in those to-go applesauce cups.

9. Sweet Treats: Get fruit cups packed in their own juice. Slice apples and pour in a couple tablespoons of Sprite or Fresca to keep them from turning brown (works with lemon or lime juice, too – but some kids don’t like the taste).

10. On-the-Go Lunch: Lunchables (get a pack of 4 for $6.99 at Costco), add a piece of fruit to make a complete meal.

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