Food, Nutrition and Health Tips for Kids

One of the biggest problems I have when it comes to my toddler and eating is that he doesn't eat meals like I do. He would much rather snack all day then have large meals. So in order to get him to eat during the day I let him have small snacks every two to three hours versus a set breakfast, lunch and dinner. And because it's so easy to grab a pre-packaged snack from the cupboard I needed to find some simple, quick, healthy snack ideas to keep him fueled throughout the day.

Below are quite a few more nutrition-packed snack ideas courtesy of the American Dietetic Association. I've mentioned healthy snacks on the blog before but only gave the first five suggestions from the list of 25 healthy snacks. Having some simple ingredients on hand to make these fun snacks with your kids will make snack time engaging and healthy.

Some of these snacks are easy enough for your child to assemble themselves but some require a mom, or dad, to help. I find that allowing my son to assemble his own snacks leads to healthier eating choices and a positive outcome for everyone. Enjoy!

20 More Healthy Snacks for Kids*

1. Top low-fat vanilla yogurt with crunchy granola and sprinkle with blueberries.

2. Microwave a small baked potato. Top with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and salsa.

3. Make snack kabobs. Put cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.

4. Toast a whole grain waffle and top with low-fat yogurt and sliced peaches.

5. Spread peanut butter on apple slices.

6. Blend low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana for thirty seconds for a delicious smoothie.

7. Make a mini-sandwich with tuna or egg salad on a dinner roll.

8. Sprinkle grated Monterey Jack cheese over a corn tortilla; fold in half and microwave for twenty seconds. Top with salsa.

9. Toss dried cranberries and chopped walnuts in instant oatmeal.

10. Mix together peanut butter and cornflakes in a bowl. Shape into balls and roll in crushed graham crackers.

11. Microwave a cup of tomato or vegetable soup and enjoy with whole grain crackers.

12. Fill a waffle cone with cut-up fruit and top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.

13. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on hot popcorn.

14. Banana Split - Top a banana with low-fat vanilla and strawberry frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with your favorite whole-grain cereal.

15. Sandwich Cut-Outs - Make a sandwich on whole grain bread. Cut out your favorite shape using a big cookie cutter. Eat the fun shape and the edges, too!

16.  Turkey Roll Ups - Spread mustard on a flour tortilla. Top with a slice of turkey or ham, low-fat cheese and lettuce. Then roll it up.

17. Mini Pizza - Toast an English muffin, drizzle with pizza sauce and sprinkle with low-fat mozzarella cheese.

18. Rocky Road - Break a graham cracker into bite-size pieces. Add to low-fat chocolate pudding along with a few miniature marshmallows.

19. Inside-Out Sandwich - Spread mustard on a slice of deli turkey. Wrap around a sesame breadstick.

20. Parfait - Layer vanilla yogurt and mandarin oranges or blueberries in a tall glass. Top with a sprinkle of granola.

And if your children are anything like mine, then they love to dip! Most dips are high in calories and fat so choosing low fat and low calorie options keep their snacks healthy and filling. Below are a few bonus snack ideas that include different snack and dip pairings.

Dip it! Bonus Snacks

• Dip baby carrots and cherry tomatoes in low-fat ranch dressing.
• Dip strawberries or apple slices in low-fat yogurt.
• Dip pretzels in mustard.
• Dip pita chips in hummus.
• Dip graham crackers in applesauce.
• Dip baked tortilla chips in bean dip.
• Dip animal crackers in low-fat pudding.
• Dip bread sticks in salsa.
• Dip a granola bar in low-fat yogurt.
• Dip mini-toaster waffles in cinnamon applesauce.

* Tips courtesy of The American Dietetic Association. ADA is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

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