Active kids are just like adults. We get hungry in between meals and need something to nibble on. When we get the urge to snack, we want something to satisfy the need for food right away and often grab for the food items that are within immediate reach and need no preparation.
Snacks like candy, cookies and ice cream are good for an occasional treat, but for the need for a nibble that happens on a daily basis, or even more often, it’s a good idea to have a supply of snacks on hand that won’t interfere with a well planned nutritious and healthy diet. The single mom can make sure she has a supply of healthy munchies on hand to reach for when her family member starts to notice that rumble in the tummy that will soon turn into a growling hunger monster.
As you shop for tasty morsels to stock the snack pantry, pay attention to the fat content, serving size, amount of sugar and sodium and the shelf live of the product before you buy. Some snacks are healthier than others, but you want to provide a variety of easy to grab bits and pieces that the kids will enjoy eating.
- Popcorn kernels or reduced fat microwave popcorn are a good staple for any snack pantry. The popcorn can be ‘glamorized’ with a sprinkling of herbs or even cinnamon.
- Fruit filled snacks, granola or fig bars are nutritious options, but not all kids like them. Of course, that leaves more for mom when she feels the need to feed on something light to get her through the afternoon.
- Pretzels are a good snack, no matter what size or shape. There are even snack crackers on the market that are cracker on one side and pretzel on the other.
- Baked vegetable chips are a good substitute for potato chips. Put them out in a bowl in the center of the table or fill a sandwich bag so the child can eat while on the go.
- Trail mix, raisins, nuts and dried fruit can be served for healthy and nutritious refreshments.
- Cereal bars and granola bars are a good way to get a bit more calcium and fiber into the child’s diet. Look for products that are low in fat.
- Rice cakes are available in many flavors. They come in the traditional size and the mini bite size. They also can be topped with flavorful and nutritious spreads.
- Frozen fruit chunks are often sweeter than fresh. Try freezing small bags of melon or berries to offer as a treat for the active child to enjoy on a hot afternoon.
- Some of the same snacks that the single mom enjoyed as a child are still popular with kids today. Find room on the snack pantry shelf for graham crackers, ginger snaps and animal crackers.
When the music from the passing ice cream truck attracts the attention of the kids, the organized mom can reach into her freezer instead of her wallet and offer the child frozen yogurt, fruit popsicles or sorbet. Not only are the treats healthier and less expensive, mom and her family can enjoy them on the front porch as they watch the rest of the neighborhood scramble after the truck and stand in line waiting to hand over their money for their treat.