Keep kids full longer with these 5 snack ideas
Raise your hand if your kid has told you they’re hungry today? Yup, thought so. It’s maybe the one of the most popular phrases amongst kids. Do you know what our favorite thing about this phrase is? It typically is heard shortly after a meal. Gotta love them!
In an effort to keep those bellies full and your snack shelf from being emptied in one day we put together a list of 5 snack ideas that will keep your kids full for longer. Think foods rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Let’s get started.
Avocado is a super easy way to get healthy fats into your child’s diet. High in monounsaturated fats, avocados decrease inflammation and keep cholesterol levels healthy. Because fat moves through the digestive tract slowly it keeps kids full longer.
Do you want to know why we really love avocado? They’re so versatile. You can eat them with a spoon, mashed them up and serve them on whole grain toast, or toss them into a smoothie. Avocados also make a great replacement for mayo in chicken or tuna salad. You really can use them in so many different ways. They’re also great transition foods for babies moving to solid foods.
When in doubt, eat the rainbow! Kids and adults alike don’t eat enough veggies. The more color and greater the variety of vegetables, the better. Each color delivers different kinds of nutrients. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are high in vitamin K, orange and red vegetables are rich in vitamin A, and peppers are packed with vitamin C.
The easiest way to get more veggies into your kiddo’s diet is to make them easily accessible. Wash and cut celery, carrots, and cucumber sticks, then keep them on a shelf in the refrigerator that everyone can reach. If your kids don’t like eating raw veggies try cooking them and then blend them into a sauce and use them with whole wheat pasta or veggie noodles!
Berries and yogurt
Did you know that one cup of berries has 4 grams of fiber and is also high in vitamin C and other antioxidants. Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are also lower in sugar than many fruits. Raspberries take the cake, with 8 grams of fiber per cup. Fortunately many of us can get our hands on berries year round thanks to all of the frozen options.
Pair the berries of your choice with yogurt. Yogurt is a great option for breakfast, a snack or even dessert. It’s rich in protein and vitamin D. Yogurt also contains good bacteria, important for maintaining a healthy gut. If you want to give your yogurt an added boost you can add a scoop of Healthy Height.
Seeds, nuts or nut butter
Switch out low-fiber kid snacks for nuts and seeds. Remember how we talked about getting your kids foods that are rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats? Well, nuts and seeds deliver all three! Mix it up and offer cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, the possibilities are endless. If your child has a tree nut allergy, seeds are a great safe option and your kids still get a healthy, fulfilling snack.
Why are we so nuts about nuts? Nuts are high in magnesium, a mineral that’s very important in bone development and energy production. Walnuts, pecans, chia seeds and flaxseeds are high in a specific omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic (ALA) acid, the body can’t make it so eating these types of nuts and seeds is the only way to get it into your system.
You can offer your child nuts alone or with dried fruit. Flaxseeds blend well into smoothies. You can sprinkle chia seeds on peanut butter and toast. Use ground almonds to “bread” chicken. Nuts and seeds can even be used to make your own granola bars. There are so many filling possibilities.
Now, you may consider popcorn a type of junk food, but it’s actually a terrific whole grain. As long as you don’t drown it in butter popcorn is a great snack for kids. With 4 grams of fiber per 3-cup serving means it’s as filling as it is tasty. Transform air-popped popcorn with all kinds of toppings, including grated cheese, nutritional yeast, or cinnamon and sugar.
Popcorn is also big on volume, which the brain sees as being more filling. That is just another reason popcorn makes for a great snack.