Last Updated on June 14, 2018
OK moms… if there is one thing I have learned over the years it is that kids get hungry and they like to snack. And if you never realized it before they will pretty much snack on what you place before them, thus you are the one who is teaching them what they should snack on.
Therefore, I encourage you to provide healthy snack choices and I assure you that if you do so you will end up with healthy eaters… without even trying!
I have had lots of kids in my home through the years and whether they were mine, or someone else’s one thing held true…if they were hungry and something is offered, it is eaten. But there are a few “tricks” that help healthy snack consumption.
Healthy Snacks 101 – 5 Helpful Hints
Kids Are Visual
All kids like small things and finger foods that look especially interesting.
- Carrots cut like crinkle cut fries
- Tiny veggie slices
- Fruit cut in slim wedges
- Grapes that have been frozen (cut in half to help prevent choking)
- Whole Wheat Toast points (Cut bread or tortillas into tiny triangles, preheat oven to 200 bake for an hour till crispy)
Fun Interesting Containers & Utensils
Kids are small, they like small, and colorful, items to eat with.
- Colorful toothpicks to “stab” their food with
- Small containers (I bought a half dozen dip containers from my local Applebees!)
- Small bowls that are colorful
- Let them eat with Shrimp forks
Sweet Bribery Works
If your kids don’t particularly like healthy, use items that sweeten the taste, yes that’s bribery.
- Apple or Celery Wedges smeared with peanut butter with raisins or MnM’s placed on top (bugs on a log)
- Good for you cereal, with a few fun cereals mixed in
- Allow Dipping in sweet sauces (see next point for more!)
Dip It and They Will Eat It
Kids love handling their foods and dipping!
- Grab a few small containers and place dipping sauces in them – honey, ranch dip, salsa, hummus, ketchup, baba ganoush
- Let them dip anything in anything…what do you care, as long as they eat it!
- Sound effects permitted, but only during “snack time” not at the dinner table.
They Help Make = They Will Eat
Usually if a child is part of the preparation of a snack, they are more inclined to want to eat their own offerings!
- Let them choose the platter to serve them on, they like choices so have a few options
- Have a some selections available, but let them choose the daily/weekly snack menu
- Let them do the “placing” if they are too young to cut, but get them as involved as you can. (It may take longer, but the sooner they learn, that can be a way they serve the family!)
- If they get creative and want to try something – go for it. All great chefs experiment!
Please do share your Healthy Snack 101 secrets in the comments!
Tracey Eyster is the Founder of MomLife Today and the annual Mom Camp event help at Pine Cove Christian Camp. Her book Be The Mom, LifeWay Bible Study Beautiful Mess and speaking engagements have allowed her the privilege of speaking into the lives of women sharing what God is teaching her. “Be intentional. Be relational. Be selfless.” In a nutshell, that’s her life and message. Tracey has been a mom since 1993 and she and Bill have been married for over 30 years.