This topic, healthy snacks for kids, is from of a series of questions I received from speaking at a friend’s MOPS group. Be sure to check out my responses to the other nutrition questions moms asked:
Healthy Snacks for Kids
How to get kids to eat vegetables
What supplements should I take?
Show of hands: who hated eating veggies as a kid? I don’t remember any certain veggie I avoided but I did hate tomato-based sauces. I’d ask for naked noodles with butter and parmesan, I refused to eat lasagna, and I remember rinsing BBQ sauce off my chicken. It’s a tough topic that doesn’t have a straightforward answer: how to get kids to eat vegetables. I haven’t had a problem with Nora because she’s only 10 months old and eats whatever we put in her mouth so far. With that said, I don’t have much advice from my own experience but how about I share a list of ideas that have worked for other moms?
Smoothies can be made as a balanced PFC snack but there’s something to be said for chewing your food. When possible, I vote chewing over drinking because the enzymes in your saliva kick start the digestion process for carbs. Instead of a drinkable smoothie, you could make smoothie pops. You can get the fancy popsicle makers, pour your smoothie into an ice cube tray and stick a toothpick in it, or use these freezie pop molds.
Let ’em eat dip
Fat is a vital part of a balanced meal so you are welcome to let your kids enjoy dip as their fat source. It’s better to make your own than to get store bought in order to avoid the cheap, processed oils they use (usually canola). Options are hummus, nut butter, adding your homemade seasoning to full fat Greek yogurt (french onion mix, ranch, curry, taco seasoning), mix some honey and mustard together, or try this amazing sunshine sauce.
Kids like options, so prep a variety of veggies, enough for the whole week, and let them choose from the assortment. You kids might respond better to “pick whatever you want” from a veggie tray rather than being told they must eat their broccoli.
Vary the cooking method
If they don’t like steamed kale, maybe they’ll like it in a salad with dressing (remember, they need fat!), kale chips, or you can add greens in to sauces or blend it in your pesto. Think outside the box with the way you prep veggies too like roasting, mashing, cutting in sticks or wedges.
Bring on the butter
Everything is better with butter. Or cheese. Cook your veggies in butter, top them with melted cheese, or add a little bacon. It adds much more flavor compared to eating plain vegetables.
Take a multivitamin
This certainly isn’t a substitute for eating vegetables but I view multivitamins as an aid to bridge the gap for days when we just don’t get enough vitamins and minerals from fruits and veggies.
What tricks have helped your kids to eat more vegetables?