Use this list of the best healthy foods for kids that you can buy at the store and keep on hand in the pantry to keep the littles nourished in between meals. Each is low in added sugar, high in nutrients, and easy to pack and eat. Making healthy food that excites and delights the kiddos is an art. Developing palettes are often sensitive to the bitter flavors in a lot of healthy vegetables, and often, what tastes delicious to an adult taste absolutely sickening to a child.
Although recent data show that consumers are more attracted in snacks that provide a balance of healthy and indulgent options, previous research showed that more than 30 percent of children’s daily calories are coming from snacks, and desserts and sweetened beverages are the major sources of these calories. It’s no wonder that kids love to snack, and while snacking can be part of a healthy diet, the types of snacks consumed are a variable that needs to be highly considered.
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While sweet treats can absolutely have a place in the diet, there are many good reasons to eat less of sugary foods. Consumption of added sugars is associated with increased body weight, cavities and risk of diabetes and heart disease. When selecting packaged foods, be sure to read the ingredients list to check for sources of added sugars. Some ingredients to watch out for include cane sugar, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, honey, molasses and evaporated cane juice.
–Top Easy foods for Kids–
1. Apple Nachos
Mix thinly slice apples and toss with lemon juice to prevent browning. Arrange apples on a plate and add toppings, such as low-fat plain yogurt, peanut butter, crushed nuts, mini dark chocolate chips, shredded coconut and ground flaxseed.
2. Nut-Free Trail Mix
Combine unseasoned popcorn, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, and cacao nibs or mini dark chocolate chips.
3. Roasted Chickpeas and Fruits
Roasted chickpeas with a piece of whole fruits like the apple, banana, and pear are an easy, balanced snack to take on the go. There are many brands of roasted chickpeas, or you can make your own. Drain, rinse and pat dry a can of low-sodium chickpeas. Toss with olive oil and herbs or spices of choice and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven at
400 degrees F, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are dry and crispy, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let the chickpeas cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Foods For Kids
Top low-fat plain yogurt or cottage cheese with two to three healthy toppings, such as fresh fruit, whole grain cereal, crushed nuts, seeds or ground flaxseed.
5. Veggie Snack Platter
Assemble sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, baby carrots, shelled edamame and cherry tomatoes on a plate with cheese, hummus, nut butter, or a yogurt-based dip.
Blend fresh or frozen fruit with low-fat plain yogurt or kefir, a drizzle of honey, and ground flaxseed or nut butter.
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