While it often seems our kids’ energy is endless, they get worn out, too. Sometimes.
During spring and summer when longer days and more extracurricular activities keep your family on the go, it’s easy for little ones to wear down. Try these healthy (and portable) snacks to keep energy up—at least until bedtime.
Popular with food bloggers and parents, these no-bake balls are closely related to cookies, but without the extra sugars and flours necessary for baking. You’ll find a variety of flavors and textures if you search “energy bites” on Pinterest, but they all have the same basic ingredients: rolled oats (because the fiber and carbs give you an energy boost), ground flax seed, a nut butter for binding, honey, and dried fruit or chocolate chips for flavor. Shaped into small balls that can keep a few days in the fridge, kids will love these for their portability and delicious taste.
An oldie but a goodie, trail mix is yet another snack that you can tailor to suit your family’s preferences. While GORP (good ol’ raisins and peanuts) will always be the mainstay, any combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, whole grain cereal, or chocolate pieces works. Try almonds or cashews for good fats and high protein with raisins for iron, or dried bananas for crunch. Plain cheerios offer another whole grain and are just right for little fingers.
Not just for breakfast, an afternoon smoothie can be packed full of vitamins and nutrients and up your child’s fruit and vegetable intake. Since yogurt is a known source of energy-giving B12, add a dollop of that with a banana for potassium, spinach for iron, and milk for calcium and protein. Smoothies can be premade and packed in thermoses as long as they remain cool. Then treat your kid to a “milkshake” for snack.
Fruit and Dip
Rather than buying pre-packaged fruit and dip combinations at the store, make your own. Slice apples and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Serve with peanut or almond butter or make a creamy dip with Greek yogurt (1/2 c), peanut butter (1 tbsp), and honey (1 tbsp). Bananas and strawberries make great dippers too. Remember, all these are portable fruits—easy to grab and go, no dipping required. They’re packed with the good sugars your kids need to keep going.
What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?