Healthy Snacks your Kids will Love

 In Arizona Heart Foundation Blog, Heart Healthy Food

With summer coming to an end, that means it is time to start packing snacks to give your children to bring to school. But with the multitude of after-school activities most kids participate in today it can be difficult to make health-conscious food choices when you’re constantly on the go. Remember, the best way to limit unhealthy snacks is to not buy them. Instead of opting for prepackaged sugary snacks and sweets, try some of the simple ideas below to keep your kids energized throughout the entire day!

Girl and boy running and playing.

Packing sweets and baked goods is an easy way to keep sugar cravings at bay, but that isn’t always the best or most nutritious option. A simple way to avoid packing too much sugar is to substitute fresh or frozen fruit, fruit pops, dried fruit, or applesauce in place of sweets. Try freezing your own fruit in reusable containers for an easy grab and go option!

Chips and crackers have always been a snacking staple but are often full of added fats and empty calories. Instead of buying normal chips, opt for baked versions which are lower in fat. More nutritious options are seeds, whole-grain crackers, or rice cakes. Rice cakes are a fantastic alternative because they can be spread with nut butters and topped with fruit to make a nutrient-rich snack. Vegetable chips are another great option that is full of vitamins.

And of course, staying hydrated is important too! Instead of packing drinks with added sugar, try packing low-fat (1%) milk, 100% fruit juice, or water. 20% of school aged children are obese and sugary drinks are a large source of empty calories, so it is best to avoid them. Store bought juices can be very sugary, diluting them with water is one way to cut down the sugar content. Infusing water with fruits is a customizable, healthy alternative to artificially flavored beverages and can be a fun project to make with your kids. To make infused water cut up your favorite fruits and add them to plain water. Some fruits like apple and ginger may need a few hours in the fridge before they flavor the water.

Water infused with fruit

Today’s busy schedules result in us reaching for quick but sometimes unhealthy prepackaged snacks in the grocery store. All of the options can certainly get overwhelming at times, so if you’re ever at the store and unsure of what packaged snacks will be suitable for healthy eating be sure to look out for the American Heart Association’s Healthy Check Certification!

American Heart Association Heart-Check Certification

These products have been certified to meet specific nutritional recommendations for healthy people over the age of two years old. They are a great place to start if unsure what products to be looking out for.

We hope these tips keep it easier to eat healthy on the go, happy snacking!

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