Summertime is for having loads of fun and sending kids to camp and playing in the backyard all day every day.
But along with all those awesome things that happen in the summer, there also comes the constant need to snack. Often that brings me to Pinterest, looking up snack ideas for kids. Thank goodness I have it all figured out now!
I don’t know what it is about summertime, but kids just want to eat all day long! (Probably from all the energy burning fun they are having)
It can be a struggle to find the balance between meal planning for dinner foods and on top of that, you have to figure out what your kids will actually eat for snacks and lunch too.
Trying to keep things healthy can also be a struggle if you have a super picky eater on your hands.
My boys, ages 3 and 5, like to snack all day long. We do have 3 meals per day, and they eat well during those meals, but they do tend to go for the snacks a lot throughout the day. I regulate the number of snacks, of course, they do not go overboard. If I let them eat whenever all my meal planning efforts would go out the window.
So how do I make it healthy and easy to feed my growing boys?
I meal plan my snacks, lunches, and dinners before a big grocery shop!
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How many snacks should a child have per day
According to the Academy Of Nutrition and Dietetics, younger children only need 2 snacks per day, whereas older children can survive on one snack per day.
While that sounds like a dream snacking schedule, it is not feasible at our home, and I’m sure many others too.
I have active boys, they are always running, jumping and playing hard. They burn so much energy throughout the day, they NEED their snacks.
Why Are Snacks Important
Snacking is important because kids burn energy fast. They need nutritious food to support their growing bodies and developing brains. It is recommended that children have at least 2 snacks per day for optimal development.
Not all types of snacks are important though, chips from the vending machine followed by a can of pop aren’t doing anyone any good. Sugary snacks are the type of snacks that are leading to childhood obesity and as well as poor dental hygiene. Here is a guide for how much sugar is in children’s snacks.
When I meal plan snacks for my family, I include a variety of options ranging from fruits, veggies, and healthier pantry snacks. We do include a few sugary snacks but mostly momma gets to enjoy those after bedtime. Since my kids also have a bedtime routine that includes a snack, I have to ensure their bedtime snack contains very little sugar to avoid extra bedtime battles.
Snack Ideas For Kids
Control your child’s hunger and fuel nutrition by providing a variety of snacks. I find when the choice for an unhealthy snack is not around, children will gladly eat a healthy snack. Sometimes I like to make snacks at home, not only does it make for a great activity to keep your children busy indoors when you can’t go outside, but also your child can appreciate all the effort that went into that snack and will happily eat it.
I try to switch up the snacks that we have in our home every few weeks to keep things interesting, but with 5 daily snacks already, it can be tough to get creative for new snack ideas.
Click on the snack for a link on how to make your own or where to get it
Fruit And Veggies
- Frozen Berries
- Apple Slices
- Carrot Sticks
- Fresh Berries
- Fresh Grapes
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Celery Sticks
- Sweet bell peppers
- Sugar snap peas
- Frozen Grapes
- Frozen Banana Bites
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Nuts and Seeds
That is pretty much my snack list, and every single grocery shop I add all of these to my list. It’s not an outrageous list, and most of these are healthy snacks. Also, most of these snacks are great for out of the house snacking too. How simple it is to throw some crackers and cheese into some reusable snack bags like these (LOVE those patterns)
Overall, these yummy snacks will keep your child satisfied at school and at home and contribute to overall nutrition.
If my children happen to not eat any dinner (rarely) after a full day of snacking, I don’t worry about it too much. Raising kids is really hard work and sometimes I’m happy that they ate something rather than nothing all day long.
I can rest easy knowing that the snacks were consumed during the day were high quality and healthy.