Active kids are hungry kids. Healthy snacks are a great way to keep them going through the day. Healthy snacks also help kids to get all the nutrition they need for their growing minds and bodies. Healthy snacks can even help make up for food groups or nutrients children missed out on during meals. Some parents look down on snacking between meals, but healthy snacking is an important part of a child’s day. Remember, children have much smaller stomachs than adults so they need to eat more often during the day. In fact, some children (especially if they are very active) need to eat five or six times per day. That’s up to three snacks a day—a great opportunity to squeeze in some extra nutrition!
Typically, the more natural the food, the more wholesome it is. That’s because natural foods are minimally processed to conserve those rich nutrients already found in nature. Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and snacks with ingredients you recognize as real, natural foods.
Combine two or more of the five food groups—dairy, vegetables, fruit, grains, and protein—to make nutrient-rich snacks.
For example, apple slices and all-natural peanut butter are a good combination of the fruit and protein groups, providing carbohydrates for energy and protein for growth, as well as phytonutrients, fiber, iron, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin E.