Easy Snack Ideas For Kids
Snacks are an important part of healthful eating, even if you’re trying to lose weight. Having two or three snacks a day keeps your blood sugar at a stable level, preventing energy crashes, headaches, and ravenous hunger. The key to healthy snacking is choosing the right foods and the right portion size. Choose foods that provide sustained energy and, although your specific calorie needs may vary, as a general rule, snacks should be 250 calories or less.
Nut butters, such as peanut butter and almond butter, are great sources of energy and protein and make for great snacks when combined with healthy fruits or whole grains. The problem is they’re so delicious that it’s easy to overdo it. Nut butters are high in calories and fat – just two tablespoons of peanut butter has 190 calories and 16 grams of fat—so only use about a tablespoon for your snack.
Here are five snacks that will fuel you through your day.
Fruit + Peanut Butter – This combination gives you both the quick energy boost that comes from the natural sugars in fruit and the sustained energy from the protein of peanut butter. Some good fruit choices are a medium apple, a small banana, or a pear. Be sure to spoon your one tablespoon portion onto a plate and put the rest away so that you aren’t tempted to take more from the jar.
Baked Peanut Butter Cups – If you have a bit more time and want to make a snack that will last you a few days, try this easy recipe. Mix 1 cup oatmeal and 5 tablespoons peanut butter with one egg, and slowly add water until you get a batter-like consistency. Pour the mixture into mini muffin cups and bake until golden brown. Have one or two when hunger strikes and keep the rest covered in the refrigerator.
Veggies + Almond Butter – If you’re looking to change it up, try almond butter. The texture is a bit grittier than peanut butter, but it has a nice sweet taste. Almond butter is great on celery or carrot sticks. To make it a bit easier to dip, try whipping the almond butter with an electric mixer. This also lightens the consistency which lessens the calorie count per tablespoon, so feel free to have 2-3 tablespoons of the whipped version.
Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie – It might sound like a surprising combo but this smoothie recipe from Cooking Light is delicious and only 237 calories. Blend ¼ cup 1% milk, ½ medium banana, 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter, 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, and ½ cup crushed ice, pour into a large glass and enjoy!
Good Old Peanut Butter Sandwich – Your childhood favorite isn’t off limits, just swap out the white bread for a whole grain English muffin and make an open face sandwich (use just one half). If you need the extra sweetness add a tad of low sugar fruit preserves or a little bit of honey.