Healthy Snacking and Meal Tips for Kids

Motts logoboys-hanging-outThese boys excel at snacks.  Put a plate of food in front of them and they won’t touch it.  But give them smaller quantities of things that are individually wrapped and they will eat them ALL.  It is something that I struggle with especially because I want to make sure they are eating healthy foods.  But if you look at most diet plans, they suggest snacking in between meals can be healthy.  That just means that I need to make sure I keep healthy snacks that the kids will eat in the house at all times.

oat-banana-smoothieMy boys love sugary cereals and convenience foods in the morning.  And I can’t blame them.  I love them too.  But they also love smoothies.  So I try to make sure that they have smoothies whenever we have time for them.  This Banana Oat Smoothie is a favorite and helps to keep them full for quite a while.  Any time I can get fruit in my kids before lunch I call a victory.  We usually use yogurt for protein and little to no sweeteners in our smoothie so I feel really good about them having a large serving.

keep-healthy-snacks-lowI still have my littlest home with me two days a week.  I have learned to keep the healthier snacks lower in the cupboard, easily in his reach.  While there might be cookies higher in the cupboard, he knows that if he can’t reach it, it is unlikely that he will get it as a snack.  This also helps me out when I’m right in the middle of something and can’t stop to get it for him.  He has also been taught that he can’t just go get something whenever he wants just because he can.  He still has to ask.  (Did you have to do this?  I have a clear recollection of being in high school and standing in the kitchen thinking, I can totally reach the snacks, I don’t really have to ask any more…)  More often than not, he will grab a Mott’s Snack & Go pack.  They come in a variety of flavors, which is awesome since my sons rarely like the same flavors.  They don’t require him to get a bowl or spoon and he can take care of it all by himself.  Kids love that, don’t they?

strawberries

Once the kids are home from school, I let them pick out a snack.  This can be pretty much anything, (their lunches are a sandwich, fruit and veg – pretty healthy) a cookie even.  But if they still need another snack before dinner it has to be a fruit or veggie.  While my mom freaks out about them eating a snack so close to dinner, I feel like this is the prime time to get something healthy in to them.  They think they are getting an extra snack and I know that they are really getting something good for them.  Please nobody tell them.

have-kids-pick-dinner-one-night-a-weekSomething happens when it is time for my kids to sit down at the table.  Suddenly they hate food and don’t want to eat.  Or they suddenly they don’t like the meal that used to be their favorite.  So now, I ask each child and my husband to pick a meal for me to cook each week.  When they have picked it themselves they eat more and take ownership of it in a way.  This also helps with the menu planning burn out that I often get.  It’s hard to come up with meal ideas all the time.  This has been working out great.  And I totally lucked out because the meal my husband asks for it SUPER simple.  Thank goodness.

brussels-sprouts-and-mushroomsSomething else I try to do is mix something the kids like with something new or that they aren’t sold on yet.  My oldest recently began to love mushrooms.  I try to make them for him often.  But I also try to mix them in with other types of veggies and flavorings so he can try more things.  It doesn’t always work (for instance, he prefers his Brussels sprouts with bacon) but is worth a try.  It is also a great way to work in some leftovers if you don’t have a ton of one thing.

snacks-for-hiking

Weekends might be the hardest time of all for snacking.  Since my boys are always hungry, I always make sure to have snacks with me.  There is nothing worse than being out on an errand and having only whiney children with no food for them.  However will they make it through?  Mott’s® Snack & Go applesauce packs are the perfect thing!  They are easy to take with you and are pretty much mess free.  I always have these in my purse.  I’m so grateful for these snacks!

Mott’s® Snack & Go is the nutritious applesauce kids love in a squeezable pouch they can take with them wherever they go.  Mott’s is also the only applesauce brand with Box Tops for Education, helping to support kids’ schools.  Visit motts.com to learn more.

*Disclosure:  Compensation was provided by Mott’s via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mott’s.

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Comments

  1. Heck i even eat those grab and go pouches for a snack. i love that i can keep it in my purse and not worry about it getting all over everything.

    I’ve still gotta try out that banana oat smoothie. thanks for the reminder. some of my fav ingredients!

  2. We’ve always gotten the convenient cups but never the pouches. Thanks for letting me know about them!

  3. laura londergan says:

    these are already a staple in our house as my daughter LOVES them & always wants them in her lunch that I pack for her to take to school. Thankfully they make these as it’s a great way to get the fruits in! ;)

  4. You’ve made me hungry. I’m not a huge mushroom fan and I’m super impressed your oldest is, yay for him and yay to mom.

  5. Those brussels look amazing! I’ve never mixed in mushrooms, but I’ve got to give that a try.

    • It is super yummy! I always saute a little onion (or shallot) and garlic first and then saute the rest. Add the perfect flavor. And then finish with some Maldon sea salt. Addicting!

  6. This is great and also scary. I thought for sure my toddler would get less picky as he gets older. He was such a good eater as a baby, then gradually started disliking vegetables. He is a fruit fanatic though, so that’s easy and apple sauce pouches are definitely my go-to purse snack for shopping, errands, in the car etc… They generally are very clean and so easy plus pretty healthy when it’s just apples.

    • Kids are so hard! They go through phases where they like things and then a few weeks later, stop liking it again. You just have to try to be flexible. And find ways to sneak it in. When he is able to verbalize better, it will get easier. Promise! Well, I hope!

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