Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Simple Healthy Snacks

We had a reader ask about healthy snacks in a recent comment and we thought it was a topic worth chatting about at Bloom. I think snack time is especially tricky when you're trying to avoid packaged/heavily processed foods. We're definitely not above a handful of Goldfish or an occasional granola bar, but so many of the convenience foods commonly doled out as snacks are full of questionable ingredients and lots of sugar.

Here's a quick list of healthy snack possibilities we came up with and we hope you'll share your favorites as well:

Christina wrote a really fun post about making snack time healthy and fun. She also posted this recipe for homemade granola bars at her food blog.

We posted a granola bar recipe in Bloom's infancy as well - you can find it here.

I loved this fruit rainbow that my friend, Sarah, created for her kids on St. Patrick's day. Maybe not super-simple, but so fun. And beautiful, too!

My kids love to dip their food - we like to warm up a little dish of creamy peanut butter and dip apple slices or banana chunks in it. Something about it being warm and melty just enchants my children. And me :) It is so good!

Make a big batch of your own trail mix. Possible ingredients: Wheat Chex or other whole grain cereal, pretzels, craisins/raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, coconut, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips.

Sometimes the tricky part isn't coming up with what to snack on - it's having healthy things readily available. This takes some forethought and planning (not my forte, but I'm hoping for improvement.)

doesn't that picture just make you want to run to the market for some freshies?

Keep raw fruits and veggies on hand, washed, cut-up and ready to eat. Have your kids help with the prep - even very young ones can sort by color, and help put chopped veggies into tupperware containers or Ziploc bags. There is such a colorful variety - carrots, broccoli, peppers, jicama, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, celery. I'm inspiring myself here - we're going to stock our fridge this week!

In winter months when it's not as easy to keep a variety of fresh produce on hand, use frozen fruit. My kids love to eat frozen berries straight from the big Costco bag. And smoothies never lose their appeal.

I also liked this bit that I found at Family Fun:

For those times when your children want to eat and run, it's a good idea to designate a drawer or canister as their own and keep it filled with parentally approved snacks.

Such treats might include sourdough pretzels, raisins, rice cakes, fruit leather, homemade cheese sticks and granola bars--choose items you don't mind your kids eating any time of day, without first asking your permission.

What about you? What are your favorite healthy snacks?


Abbie said...

We eat a lot of cereal. Low sugar, low calorie, high fiber, whole grain, low fat, no allergen. It's ridiculous how much we eat. And we eat a lot of bell peppers. And fruit, you can't go wrong with fruit. Great post! Thanks for the ideas!

So I was like "oh my gosh, how do you know Sarah?" duh. I love her!

Rachael said...

We eat a TON of apples--virtually mess-free (as long as they're not too juicy) and my girls (2 and 4) will eat an entire apple as long as it's cored, because they thing "ring apples" are so cool. Seeds and nuts are also a big hit--our favorites are sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans, cashews, and walnuts.

In the summer, I usually just let them go out to the garden and eat whatever they want--they think this is the best thing ever! (class sight: two-year-old cramming as much lettuce in her mouth as she can...)

Christina said...

Love the fruit rainbow! And I was just thinking about how to make snacks more accessible for the kids - thanks for the ideas!

Bethany said...

When I was in college I had the hardest time eating healthy snacks, so I decided to buy a bunch of fresh veggies and put a variety of each into tupperware containers like you suggested. It worked great! If you add a piece of wet paper towel to the top and bottom of the veggies, it will keep them crisper.

Thanks for the great blog and great ideas!

Rachael said...

another post on this popped up in my reader today: https://www.google.com/reader/view/?tab=my#stream/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Ffeeds.feedburner.com%2Fsimplebites

Heather said...

I loved this! Thanks for the tips! I never get tired of this type of stuff. :) I also loved the family home evening ideas, keep 'em coming!!

Inadvertently Domesticated said...

Great ideas for healthy snacks! I have got to start eating healthy, too!!

Snack-Girl said...

Great post! My favorite website for healthy snack ideas is http://www.snack-girl.com/

Aimee @ Simple Bites said...

I'm loving that rainbow--Sarah sounds like such a cool mom!

In our home, my kids (ages 2 and 4), are not big eaters and daily snacks play an important role in providing them with the nourishment they need.

I wrote about smart snacking and finding the balance here:


Jo said...

Wow! I love it. The rainbow idea is so cool! I will try and copy the idea with my kid. Thanks a lot

Carol said...

Love the fruit rainbow. Sounds like fun and yummy!

Jones Morris said...

I found that site very usefull and this survey is very cirious, I ' ve never seen a blog that demand a survey for this actions, very curious... 5 Great Healthy Snacks