Whether the kids are in school, out of school, or after school, they need nourishment to help them thrive during full days of learning and activities. With camps, travel, and the generally unstructured nature of summertime, it can be easy to default to packaged snacks and sweet drinks. But with a little planning, you can help your kids keep a healthy eating routine that powers them through their summer activities.
Sugary and salty snacks might taste good, but they’ll also leave behind grumpy and tired kids. Instead, pack snacks with protein, fiber and healthy carbs for all-day energy. Rule of thumb – keep your kids snacks simple and fresh. Here are a few ideas:
• Fresh and dried fruit like, apples, grapes, berries, bananas and raisins
• Pre-cut raw veggies such as, pepper slices, baby carrot sticks, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes
• Unsalted nuts
• Whole grain crackers or pretzels
• Whole wheat pita chips
• Plain popcorn
Boost fresh produce by including a fruit or a vegetable with each snack. Pre-portion crackers, pita chips or other snack foods into single-serving bags or containers to prevent your kids from snacking by the bag.
Coolers may take up extra space, but they come in handy for packing a variety of snacks while traveling, and help save money on food purchased while on the road. Great options for the cooler:
• Cheese sticks or cubes
• Frozen yogurt sticks or individual containers of yogurt
• Turkey or tuna wraps
• Hummus or guacamole to eat with veggies or whole-grain crackers
Start with refrigerated or frozen items and use plenty of ice packs to keep the temperature down.
Crunchy and Chewy Snacks
For traditional kids snacks, think outside the box or bag for items that are easy to prepare and easily transportable
• Kale chips – Leave the tortilla chips at home, bring the kale chips instead. Drizzle olive oil on fresh kale, sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 375 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes for a crispy and healthy snack.
• Energy bars – These make for great snacks for kids who are at camps or participating in daylong activities. And, they are easy to stash in a bag to carry with you. NuGo Family has several low glycemic flavors that kids will love. Instead of rice crispy treats, choose NuGo Vanilla Yogurt.
• Trail mix – Make your own with unsalted nuts, dried fruit, whole grain cereal, seeds, and carob or chocolate chips.
When parents make healthy food available, kids eat healthy snacks. With a few extra minutes of planning and preparation, your kids will stay at the top of their game all summer long.