Summer days are for trips to the pool, park or beach and any parent knows snacks are a must. Before you reach for a bag of salty chips, package of cookies or drop money at your destination for whatever calorie and sodium laden choices they have available, try some healthy yet tasty options instead.
The main goal is to make your snack choices appealing and the best way to do this is through:
If you make your snack packs look and taste interesting, your family won’t even realize they’re eating healthier options! And, kids like fun sizes and shapes, which means getting a little creative. For example, instead of packing regular sandwiches, try using whole grain tortillas, making a wrap and then cutting them into individual “pinwheel” shapes. You can also use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of melon slices. I like to freeze them to keep them extra cold. Here are more healthy snack options:
- Pack salsa or hummus and serve with cut veggies like baby carrots or celery or whole grain pita wedges.
- Serve sliced fruit with applesauce as a dip–try different flavored applesauces like peach or berry for a twist.
- Guacamole with baked corn chips is always a hit.
- Dried fruit and nuts are a terrific alternative to salty chips.
- String cheese and fruit like grapes or berries are a good combo.
- Try peanut butter and apple slices or spread on celery and top with raisins (ants on a log).
- Your Produce Man also has some smart snacking videos to check out.
One thing to keep in mind when packing your snack items is to keep everything at the proper temperature. Use ice packs and I’ve found you can freeze water bottles and/or 100% juice boxes ahead of time to pack around your fruit/veggies. The beverages will melt slowly, keeping your snack items cool and be ready to drink for “snack time.” Smart snacking takes a few extra minutes of prep time and a little planning, but it’s a much better pay off for your body. Plus, you and your family will need all the energy you can get for those fun summer activities!