Young children are notorious for being picky eaters, although they do love a good snack. However, it is often difficult to get your children to eat healthy snacks instead of junk food or sugary, processed stuff with high sodium content. In fact, it can be even harder to source healthy snacks for kids in the first place!
Not to worry, though – in this article, we will share five handy tips to make preparing healthy snacks and also teaching your kids healthy snacking habits a whole lot easier.
Don’t treat fruit and veggies differently
Fruit and vegetables are the ideal healthy snack. They are easy to serve and come packed with nutrients, vitamins, and fibre that is much needed in your kids’ diet. The issue is that your children might not be a hundred percent thrilled about eating fruits and vegetables when they are expecting some other type of snack.
You can get around this by being adamant that fruits and vegetables are indeed snacks that your child should look forward to. Try not to slap on the “healthy” label or act like it is an obligation for your child to eat fruits and veggies. Instead, be subtle and try giving them as snacks to your kids when they are just finished playing and more likely to be hungry and less fussy. You can also pair them with delicious dips or spreads for a tastier snack.
Lead by example
Another tip you could use when it comes to getting your children to eat healthier is to lead by example. Your child will be less inclined to accept healthy snacks if they catch you snacking on chips, chocolate, and other less nutritious options. On the other hand, if they view healthy snacks for kids as a normal fixture in your household, they will be more likely to see them in a positive light.
In short, if you want your kids to snack healthily, you should be eating healthy snacks yourself. You can always prepare a little extra when serving your kids and join in on the snacking to further encourage your children.
Create a healthy snack plan
When you are having a busy day and the kids are getting hungry, it is all too easy to grab an unhealthy snack to keep them satisfied. The problem with healthy snacks is that they can take more time to prepare compared to processed food options, which is why we often turn to them when we are in a pinch.
To avoid this from happening, have a snack plan in place so that you can plan ahead and have healthy snacks on hand every day of the week. When you know what snacks to serve and when to serve them, you do not have to crack your brain thinking about what healthy offerings you need to whip up. The routine could also be good for your kids and offer them something to look forward to.
Make snacking fun
When you offer your kids a snack they do not like, do not give up. Try and experiment with different ways of presenting the same food – you could change the presentation, or pair it up with a different condiment. Children may like a snack a lot more when they think that it is fun and yummy.
For example, if your kid is not a fan of plain sliced apples, try slathering it in yoghurt or peanut butter and chopped nuts. Or you could cut them in different shapes and sizes and make up a story to go with the presentation – the possibilities are endless!
Get your kids involved
One surefire way to get your children more receptive to snacks is to involve them in the preparation. Children like to get included in things, so it could be a treat for them to help with the snack preparations. They are also more likely to eat something that they helped prepare. In fact, if your kids are a bit older, you can give them a bit more responsibility by telling them to come up with a snack based on several guidelines. For example, you could task them to come up with a creative way to eat cheese or yogurt.
Hopefully, these tips will help convince even your fussiest little eaters to be more open to healthy snacks. Remember, a little bit of planning and a whole lot of creativity will go a long way!