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Think Outside the Box When it Comes to Snacks

written by: Genevieve Van Wyden • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 7/11/2011

You want to provide healthy snacks your kids will eagerly eat. You can start substituting different kids of snack foods like pita pockets, yogurt, fruit and cheese kebabs and banana splits. As you look for different snack foods, make sure you're buying low-fat, whole grain substitutions.

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    Think Outside the (Candy) Box

    When your children come home from school, they haven’t eaten since lunchtime. Their lunchtimes might vary from grade to grade and from one school to another. Regardless of your children’s ages, elementary, middle school or high school age, they need to eat regularly throughout the day to fuel rapidly growing, active bodies. For this reason, you need to stock up on healthy snacks for children.

    You may see them speed by you as they aim for the refrigerator or pantry as they look for something to much on. More often than not, they’re going to choose the snack that’s the quickest to get to--chips, ice cream or cookies. In order to short-circuit their grabs for the fatty, unhealthy snacks, stock up on snack staples like frozen fruits, small cereal boxes, yogurt cups, corn tortillas, graham crackers, pudding, pita pockets, nuts, bagels, instant hot cereal and fresh fruits, according to the Fun and Food Cafe website.

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    Grain Snacks

    Open a pita pocket--whole grain-- and fill it with slices of apple, cinnamon and ricotta cheese. Top whole grain cereal with nuts and low-fat milk. Heat a whole grain waffle and top it with honey and fresh fruits your children especially like.

    Make a sandwich with whole grain bread, using cheese, tomatoes and cilantro, which is a herb. Pop an English muffin in the toaster and make mini pizzas with pasta sauce and top it with low-fat mozzarella cheese. These ideas come from the Fun and Food Cafe website.

    Create your own quesadilla with a whole wheat flour tortilla and grated cheese. Take two tortillas, sprinkle cheese on top of one, then put the second tortilla on top of the cheese, then heat it on a griddle set on the stove. When one side has gotten hot and browned, flip the quesadilla and brown the second side. Slice the quesadilla into triangles and give them to your children. This idea was provided by the Path 2 Healthy Living website.

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    Fruit and Vegetable Snacks

    Make up a platter of sliced vegetables--carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and celery sticks. Your children can munch on these as they do homework. These ideas come from the Path 2 Healthy Living website. Add cherry tomatoes and low fat cheese cubes to the vegetable platter.

    Dip a banana into vanilla yogurt, then coat it with crushed cereal. Freeze the banana and give your children frozen fruit snacks. Make up some fruit kebabs. Slice several fruits up--apples, oranges, strawberries and bananas. Spear them on kebab sticks, alternating them with low fat cheese cubes. Instead of making a high-calorie banana split, make a low-calorie split that’s just as tasty. Use vanilla and strawberry yogurt instead of ice cream, then top the split with pecans or walnuts. Scoop frozen yogurt and chopped fruit into a waffle cone for a delicious “non-ice cream” snack. These ideas came from the Fun and Food Cafe website.

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    Cereal Snacks

    Make trail mix with ready-to eat cereal, dried fruits and nuts. Store the mix in a bag, then pour some into bowls for your children. Add a glass of low fat milk to this snack. Make a bowl of instant oatmeal. Instead of adding sugar, sprinkle craisins and chopped nuts. These ideas were provided by the Fun and Food Cafe website.

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    Yogurt and Frozen Yogurt

    Children of all ages gravitate toward ice cream. If you don’t want them eating too much ice cream, substitute frozen yogurt. Top a bowl of vanilla yogurt with some berries and granola for a filling snack. These ideas come from the Fun and Food Cafe website.

    You don't have to stand by as your kids eat unhealthy snack foods--next time you visit the supermarket, buy food items that enable you to make healthy snacks for children.

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    List of References

    http://www.funandfoodcafe.com/2008/10/healthy-kids-snacks-meal-lunch.html

    http://www.path2healthyliving.com/HealthySnacksForKids.html