Snacks are a great way to fuel your child’s growing body and health in between meals. Check out this easy, delicious snack idea with maternal nutrition Expert Crystal Karges.
Incorporating healthy snacks into your child’s day is an important way to fuel their bodies consistently and give more opportunities to maximize nutrition. Snacking has sadly become demonized in our culture, especially when it comes to kids. Many parents fear that their child may not eat at meal time if offered snacks during the day. Others may worry that “snack” type foods are unhealthy, and therefore, should be avoided.
The reality is that children need to eat every 2-3 hours, as their growing bodies holds a smaller volume of food than adults. Strategizing when and what you offer your children for snacks can help optimize their nutrition intake, keeping them satisfied, healthy, and strong.
Let’s first start with the benefits of offering nutritious snacks.
An important key to remember is that parents should be responsible for what snacks are being served and when snacks are given. Children should be allowed to determine if they want to eat the snack offered, as well as decide how much of the snack to eat.
When planning out snacks, focus on the main macronutrients needed, which are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Snacks that contain this combination of food components will likely be more balanced and contain the variety needed to keep their bodies fueled.
This also helps keep their energy stable, which can prevent low blood sugar or “energy crashes.”
Ever experience a kid who is “hangry”? Yeah, thanks – but no, thanks.
Pack a nutrition punch in snacks you offer to your kids by including the combo of carbs, protein and fats. The good news is that there are many simple combinations that can easily be put together to offer your child these crucial nutrients, with ingredients you likely purchase regularly and already have on hand.
One of of my favorite easy and healthy snack ideas are Greek Yogurt Parfaits. Layering Greek Yogurt, Whole-Grain Granola, and Fresh Fruit offers a quick, fun, and healthy treat for your kiddos that fuels them with protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
- Greek Yogurt of Choice (Plain or Flavored)
- Whole Grain Granola
- Fresh or Frozen Fruit (Such as mixed berries or sliced banana)
- Give your kiddos the opportunity to be involved with snack prep by setting out the ingredients in medium sized bowls and letting them customize their own parfait.
- Using small bowls or cups, layer each ingredient as desired.
*Note: Ingredients can easily be substituted based on what you might have on hand.
For more snacking ideas for your kids, read the full article!
Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC is a San Diego-based private practice dietitian helping others embrace their health for themselves and their loved ones. Focusing on maternal/child health and eating disorders, Crystal creates the nurturing, safe environment that is needed to help guide individuals towards a peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.