If you have kids then you know that the phrase “Mom, I’m hungry” is an all too common one. Kids are always looking for something to eat between meals as their growing bodies demand more fuel. But what your kids will reach for isn’t always the best thing for them to eat between meals. Snacks that are filled with salt and sugar can create health problems further down the road such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Unfortunately, we are wired to love salt and sugar because they are so hard to find in a natural environment. So how do we make sure our kids have healthy snacks when that mid-day hunger hits? One way is to create plenty of healthy snacks that are always around when they open a cupboard or fridge on the prowl for something to eat. Here are several good ideas that are quick and easy to make and a snap to have around.
Baked Veggie Chips
Many parents love to make these from carrots and kale, but just about any veggie will do. They are quick to make, easy to store and the kids can have as many as they like when snacked instead of the dreaded salty fatty potato chips. If you don’t have a hydrator at home, you can bake these in the oven and they are even better. We make both, hydrated carrot chips because they look so pretty and baked kale chips because they taste so good!
Hummus and Pita
We make hummus at home from local chickpeas so we know there are no chemicals involved with the growing of the peas. You can find organic chickpeas at any decent grocery store these days. For a fast recipe use canned organic garbanzo beans and throw them in a blender with lemon juice, olive oil, a crushed garlic clove and a bit of cumin and sea salt. You can add sesame oil if you like as well. Blend this up and put it in the fridge for a fast snack any time.
Granola and Yogurt
My kids love the commercial granola but I find it too sweet so we compromise and make our own granola in the oven, hippie-style with honey and cinnamon. It goes perfect with a fresh bit of Greek style yogurt and gives your kids the extra calcium that growing bones need. This snack will beat the heck out of that dried up old beef jerky they picked up at the local convenience store any day of the week!
Jicama and Peanut Butter
Believe it or not these two go really well together. The luscious crunch of the jicama sits perfectly against the peanut butter and it will get your kids to eat more veggies. I sometimes chop up sticks of celery, carrot and jicama and put them in a container with a cup of peanut butter for dipping. Tasty for adults as much as for the kids!
So, the next time your kids come stamping into the kitchen telling you they are starving, just point them towards any of these yummy treats. When there isn’t time to make a quick lunch, these can hold off the starving hoards until the real thing comes along!happy wheels