Healthy Snacks for Children (by Guest Blogger, Susie Rahaim)

As mothers, we are always looking for healthy snacks to put in lunches or as a quick pick-me-up when running errands with the kids. Here are some of my daughters’ favorites.

Susie and her daughters

Susie and her daughters

Here are my girls’ top 10 snacks

  • Raw nuts: cashews (we call them banana nuts), almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, any kind you like
  • Fruit: organic if possible or at least grown in the US
  • Red peppers and Newman’s brand Ranch
  • Celery or apple and all natural peanut butter (comes in glass jar with oil on top)
  • Kefir (fermented milk found in health section of grocery story) smoothies with fresh fruit. Please note that it’s important to use unsweetened Kefir and add your own fruit. The prepackaged, fruit-flavored kefirs have way too much sugar.
Kefir smoothies are portable and healthy

Kefir smoothies are portable and healthy.

  • Fresh coconut pieces.  If not available then raw, dried, unsweetened coconut flakes. (we like the brand “lets do..Organic”) My kids look forward with excitement when they can help dad crack open the coconut and poke holes in it to get the water out!
Fresh coconut pieces

Fresh coconut pieces

  • Plain low or full fat yogurt sweetened with stevia if preferred.  Our favorite is Greek because of the creaminess and high protein.
  • Freeze dried raw strawberries, raspberries, and mangos.  We like the brand “Crunchies” found at our local health store.
Freeze Dried Strawberries

Freeze Dried Strawberries

  • Hummus and veggies. Homemade is the best!
  • Oat energy bites or “oat balls” as my family knows them as.  A simple recipe of raw oats, almond butter, raw honey, raisins, seeds, dried coconut, all rolled up into a delicious little balls.  Good for a sweet treat.
Oat balls are a huge hit at our house. After I baked this batch, they were gone in a matter of minutes.)

Oat balls are a huge hit at our house. After I baked this batch, they were gone in a matter of minutes.)

No crackers in the line up! The problem with crackers/chips is most are processed.  They don’t offer much nutritionally and they don’t keep kids full as most lack in “healthy” fats and proteins–the things that fill little tummies up!

A couple of our other favorites are ham and turkey roll ups (Applegate farms brand), organic cheese sticks, plain popcorn then adding our own salt and fresh organic butter, Lundberg farms brand brown rice cakes, coconut flour chocolate chip cookies, dates, taboulli, olives, frozen berries, kale chips, and homemade granola.

I do see many if not most of my suggestions are organic and I realize organic produce and products in some cases can cost more.  Some of you may be saying “We can’t afford organic.” What I can tell you is that in our house we have made it a priority to eat healthy so I have made sacrifices in other areas to allow us to provide these healthy options for our family. I hope that you too will make this investment in your health!

A few last things, remember to keep trying and kids eventually will like and ask for healthier snacks. Do not buy junk and put it in your cupboards. If you don’t stock it your kids won’t want or ask for it.  Maybe YOU may need to examine your own diet and take out the junk also!!!

“Our children’s health is in our hands.” I heard that saying a while ago and it has always stuck with me.  Please share if you and your family have some healthy “real” food snacks that you love.  A helpful children’s book to read to your kids is called “Eat Healthy, Feel Great” by Dr. William Sears. And a great tool to help you on this journey is the Count Me Healthy bracelet to help keep track of healthy snacks throughout the day.

Be creative and it can be very helpful in making good food choices!  I hope I have inspired you to seek out real food for your family!

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