This article was submitted by guest blogger Helen Childs
Kids are seemingly endlessly hungry. As well as eating three square meals a day they also need regular snacks (it is recommended that younger children eat two snacks a day) in order to give them the energy boost to continue a day of learning and play.
With a little preparation and the right ingredients, it is much easier than you might think to ensure that your kids eat as healthy as possible when they’re on the go. The Snack and Play Travel Tray is ideal for eating a wide variety of snacks on the go, and means that you don’t have to limit yourself to snacks that are easy to clean up. Here are a few wonderful healthy and portable snack ideas for kids.
Dipping makes eating just about everything so much more fun and is a great way to encourage young children to eat raw fruit and vegetables. This snack is incredibly easy to prepare: slice carrots, apple, bell peppers, cucumber and other raw vegetables into fingers then pack alongside a small tub of dipping sauce: tomato salsa, hummus, and cream cheese are all good healthy options, but the only real limit is your imagination. The handy table of the Snack and Play Travel Tray is the perfect place to rest the dipping sauce without spillage, enabling your child to enjoy a healthy and nutritious snack no matter where they are. For kids that are reluctant to eat their veggies, encourage them to make shapes and pictures on their tray using the vegetables first. Anything that makes food fun is sure to encourage kids to eat up!
Combining butter, oats and syrup, flapjacks are a filling snack treat that kids will love: easy to make and super-portable, you can serve them plain or add dried fruit, nuts or even chocolate drops to them. Many parents who are committed to ensuring their children eat a healthy diet avoid giving them sugar, and wouldn’t consider flapjacks to be a healthy snack; however, children need to have a little sugar in their diet. Teaching our children about healthy eating means teaching them about nutritional balance, and that means it’s just as important to allow the occasional sugary treat as it is to fill them with fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.
Creating a healthy relationship with food in our children is one of the most important gifts that we can give to them. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from eating disorders: a scary statistic that our early relationship with food and our parents can influence. The key is balance and moderation. Whilst homemade flapjacks shouldn’t become an everyday snack, they are a great portable snack as an occasional treat for busy kids on the go.
Not sure that yogurt is a good on the go snack? With the support of The Snack and Play Travel Tray, it can be! Yogurt is packed full of calcium, protein, and can help to regulate the digestive system, preventing common tummy upsets. Yogurt is filling, low calorie, and sweet enough to appeal to even the most health-food adverse children. Simply pack a yogurt and spoon, and your little snacker can enjoy their favorite creamy snack in the comfort of their car seat. To bump up its nutritional value, you could also pack a tub of soft fruits (such as raspberries, strawberries, chopped peaches, or blueberries) which are ideal for adding to yogurt to enhance its flavor and increase its nutritional value.
For a more substantial snack that provides a much needed protein fix, why not make up some pita pockets? Stuffed with chicken, turkey or cheese (and some lettuce and tomato for color and flavor) pita pockets are a great alternative to a traditional sandwich. Much easier and more fun for little hands to hold, they also have less carbohydrates than a traditional sandwich whilst still filling tiny tummies. Protein helps you to feel full and alert, so chicken or turkey are the best options for pita fillers that will help keep kids going all day. This is a great snack option for eating between the end of school and the start of any post-school extra-curricular activities, giving a much-needed energy boost.