From mid-morning to afternoon, your kids are going to want snacks. So how do you get them to make better-for-you choices? Turn snack time into a fun, interactive occasion where kids are a part of the process. Not only is it a chance to sneak in more fruits, veggies, nuts and whole grains, but you may also inspire a future chef in them. Give these easy snack ideas a try — we’ve broken each one into simple steps to show you exactly where to involve your little ones.
DIY Bento Box
Let kids play recipe developer (with your help) by having them devise their own bento box with ingredients you have in your pantry or fridge. Don’t have a bento box? No problem — you can use cupcake liners (paper or silicone) or even small bowls to divide the food. Stick to this game plan:
1. Parents: Steer kids in the right direction by giving them general categories like nuts, veggies, fruit, crackers or cheese for their recipe.
2. Kids: Write out the ingredients list (with parent’s approval, of course).
3. Parents and Kids: Gather ingredients.
4. Kids: Assemble the snack by placing ingredients in each compartment, cupcake liner or bowl.
Banana “Split” Bar
Transform a kid-favorite fruit into the perfect vehicle for loads of nutritious toppings with this creative snack. If your bananas are overly ripe, they’re still fair game — but we recommend eating them with a fork. Here’s how to do it:
1. Parents and Kids: Set out toppings, like sliced fruit, berries, chocolate chips, granola, pumpkin seeds, unsweetened flaked coconut and nut or seed butters.
2. Kids: Peel bananas.
3. Parents: Slice bananas crosswise and arrange side-by-side.
4. Kids: Carefully spread nut or seed butter on banana halves, then top with remaining ingredients.
Dress up classic apples and peanut butter with this clever twist. If your little one follows a special diet, this is also a great way to not miss out on the PB&J fun. Not in the mood for sandwiches? Enjoy them open-faced. Follow these steps:
1. Parents: Core and cut 2 small apples crosswise into ½-inch-thick rounds. Remove seeds. (If you’re not eating immediately, brush apple slices with 1 teaspoon lemon juice so they don’t brown.)
2. Parent and Kids: Arrange apple slices on a platter or cutting board.
3. Kids: Spread one side of half of the apple slices with nut or seed butter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, fresh fruit, cereal or granola.
4. Kids: Top with remaining apple slices. Press down gently to make the sandwiches.