Healthy Snack Ideas (DOC)

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					                                         Healthy Snack Ideas

Why are healthy snacks important for kids? Studies show they enhance kids’ academic and
athletic performance, and can help improve behavior, too. Did you know that kids need 2½
cups of vegetables and 1½ cups of fruit each day? Unfortunately, only 1 in 5 kids meets
these recommendations.

Just as children acquire tastes for sweets, they acquire tastes for healthy fruits and
vegetables, too. That’s why serving these foods as snacks is so important for their good
health. Getting children in the habit of eating fruits and vegetables not only provides
them with the nutrients they need now to grow, it helps set them up for a lifetime of
healthy eating as they get older. And if you don’t squeeze in fruits or vegetables during
snack time, chances are slim you’ll fit the recommended amounts in at mealtimes.

Before you say that your child won’t eat vegetables or fruits, remember two things:
 1) It can take up to 10-15 exposures to a food before a child decides if he or she likes it
 2) There is good power in peer pressure! If your child sees classmates enjoying red
    pepper slices or zucchini circles, he or she may be more willing to try it – and may even
    ask for it at home!

Fresh fruits (washed and cut): Serve fruit plain or with yogurt for dipping; squeezing a
little lemon or lime juice on top will help prevent browning.
   Apple slices
   Bananas
   Blueberries
   Cantaloupe or melon balls
   Fresh fruit salad or make fruit kabobs using a variety of fruits, threaded on a straw
   Grapes
   Kiwi halves
   Orange wedges
   Peaches, nectarines, plums
   Pears

                                                                           Peter Kirk Wellness Committee
 Pineapple chunks
 Strawberries
 Watermelon

Other fruit options:
 Frozen mango, pineapple or other chunk (and non-staining) fruit
 Applesauce
 Pre-packaged fruit cups (packed in own juice, not syrup)
 Canned fruit (packed in own juice, not syrup)

Fresh vegetables (washed and cut): Sometimes kids like vegetables better (and eat
them!) when served with dip. Try hummus, bean dip, lowfat ranch or poppyseed dressing,
guacamole, or make your own dip using plain yogurt or cottage cheese as a base.
   Asparagus tips
   Baby carrots or carrot sticks
   Broccoli florets
   Celery sticks stuffed with lowfat cream cheese or peanut butter and sprinkled with
    raisins or shredded carrot
   Cherry or grape tomatoes
   Cucumbers
   Edamame
   Green beans
   Red and green pepper slices
   Snow peas
   Zucchini or yellow squash circles

Other healthy snack ideas:
 Mini low or non-fat yogurts or cottage cheese
 Yogurt parfaits (layer yogurt, fresh fruit and granola)
 Fruit smoothies or yogurt drinks (pre-packaged or make your own)
 Squeezable yogurt (tubes can also be frozen for “frozen yogurt”)
 String cheese
 Nuts – kids’ favorites tend to be almonds, cashews and peanuts
 Lowfat cheese slices or cubes and whole grain crackers
 Turkey, salmon or beef jerky (made without sodium nitrite or MSG)
 Popcorn (can sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired)
 Rice cakes spread with peanut, almond or soy nut butter
 Dried fruit: raisins, apricots, cranberries, plums, cherries, mango, apples, banana chips
 Trail mix (mix low-sugar cereal like Cheerios or Wheat Chex, popcorn, or pretzels;
  variety of dried fruits or raisins; and sunflower or pumpkin seeds or nuts)
 Zucchini, pumpkin, raisin bran or banana bread or muffins
 Whole wheat pita bread triangles with hummus