Healthy Snacks for Kids
Many of us are concerned about our children’s nutrition. I try to limit my kids’ exposure to excess sugar, because I know it’s essentially toxic in the amounts that are common in the diet in the United States. So that rules out most typical kids’ snacks. But it also leaves plenty of room for more healthful foods.
Nuts are superfoods. They satisfy hunger and help control the appetite, so kids will be less likely to overeat later. Works for moms, too. Tree nuts of all sorts are good sources of fiber, minerals, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and protein. Try different kinds and discover together what kinds appeal to your kids. Brazil nuts, by the way, are less common choices. But they supply a healthy dose of the essential micronutrient, selenium, which may help boost immunity. Just don’t eat too many at once. Selenium is good for you, but only in small doses. One cup supplies more than 3,000% of the daily value for selenium. Clearly you don’t want to eat that many. Just a few will do.
Carrots or Celery and Hummus
Carrots are an old snack standby. So are celery sticks. Buy organic, and pack them for easy transport, storage, and occasional snacking. Combine carrots with a small amount of peanut butter for a dip-able snack, or offer hummus. Made from ground chick peas, lemon juice, and certain seasoning, hummus is a high-fiber, filling, heart-healthy snack.
Whole or Dried Fruit
Of course, a simple apple or orange is the default snack in many people’s homes. They’re portable, storable, and don’t require refrigeration. They’re also good sources of fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Compounds in apples and oranges may help boost immunity. And don’t forget other kinds of fruit. Grapes or berries will usually travel and keep for at least a day without refrigeration, too. And they’re naturally delicious and healthful. These two foods have also been linked to enhanced immunity. If storage is a concern, choose dried fruit. Fresh—and organic, certainly—is better, but dried will do in a pinch. Think raisins or apricots, dried cranberries, cherries, etc.