Secret to healthy snacks for Kids

In this post I reveal the most important secret to healthy snacks for kids. Snacks are a terrific way to get all the vitamins and nutrients your kids need that they are not getting by eating their 3 meals. But to make the right snack for you kids you should know what nutrients your kids need. The secret information is the food pyramid. Evey time I saw food pyramid it confused me, so I found a great plate pyramid that I think is much easier to understand and remember.

You can see that Carbs take around 40% of the foods. Just remember to give your kids "good" carbs and avoid "bad" carbs. Fruits and Vegetables around 25%. Natural juice count too.

Meat, fish, eggs, beans for protein around 13%. Milk, cheese and yogurt for fat around 20% . Avoid "bad" fats. And believe me when I tell you that your kids don't need sweets :)

No that you know how much of each food your kids need, the only thing that is left is to put together a yummy menu.

Carbs in Healthy Snacks for Kids

Carbs is a very important source of energy. There were a lot of talk in the news that you should eat less carbs and that carbs are bad for you. Not true. Like fat there are sort of bad carbs and good carbs. For those of you who didn't read my article about fat, click here for "Fat in Healthy Snacks for Kids."

When you eat carbs they are broken down into sugars. These sugars get into the bloodstream.

Bad Carbs - simple carbs get absorb too quickly and kids sugar level increase too rapid. Rapid rise in blood sugar may increase a kid's risk of developing health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Simple carbs are found in refine grains, meaning processed foods like, white flour, white rice, soda, candies and etc.

Good Carbs - complex carbs are absorbed more slowly, allowing blood sugar to rise more gradually. They can be found in whole grain, brown rice, fruits and etc.

If you kids are older than 2 they should get 60% of the calories consumed in carbohydrates. Keep in mind that not all foods that have simple carbs are bad. There are a lot of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, which provide a range of essential nutrients that support growth and overall health of your kids.

Try to avoid foods that are high in added sugar (soda, cookies, cake, candy, frozen desserts, and some fruit drinks) tend to also be high in calories and low in other valuable nutrients.

Fun Healthy Snacks for Kids

Snacks for kids should always be fun and healthy. If you make food fun they will eat it no matter how much vegies that they don't like you put in it. They don't like broccoli not a problem make a funny character and they will eat it. Guaranteed. Kids like colorful, fun stuff. Take a look at these funny sandwiches full of vegies. It's a fun and healthy snack for your kids. My husband couldn't stop laughing when he saw them first time. Kids loved it.

I have to admit this one was a little hard to make but look how much healthy vegetables you can stuff in it. It has a lot of cucumber olives, turkey as a nose, hehehe, 4 prezels used for legs and 1 green olive cut in half to make eyes.

You can use tomates with the cucumber. Make some wings out of letus another great idea. Broccoli would work too. Just use your imagination.

Look at this little crab! Not only you can tell them it's a new little friend but you can also make these fun snack sandwiches together. It always taste better when they made it and it doesn't matter how bad it taste. They will eat it anyway.

My last cute sandwich is an alligator. It looks more like a mouse but it's green so if you say it's an alligator will believe you. Look how much cucumber you can use. And I think you can use more broccoli with this one.

I hope you had a good laugh looking at these great fun
healthy snacks for kids. Share it with other moms/dads. Oh, forgot to tell you, these little sandwiches is a great snacks for the kids party. Parents will love you if instead of potato chips and pizza you make healthy food. I am always looking for fun snack ideas for kids so if you have any you would like to share let me know.

Want to see more fun healthy snacks for kids, click here Fun Healthy Snacks For Kids Part II.

Fat in Healthy Snacks for Kids

We keep talking about healthy snacks for kids and how overweight kids are. I want to talk about FAT in kid's food today. Parents should know that fat is not bad for kids. Or let me re-phrase it, not all fat is bad. You will be surprised, but kids need fat every day.

Why do Kids need fat?

Fat helps kids to absorb vitamins and develop brain and the nervous system. It makes them feel full faster so they don't eat as much other food.

How much fat do kids need per day?

If you children are older than 2 they should get around 30% of their daily calories in fat. So if your child getting 1,500 calories a day around 280 should come from fat. You should not worry about your kids getting fat, because kids burn fat much faster than adults.

You hear a lot of overweight kids and that fat is bad for cholesterol and your heart. It's all true. Here is the thing, you can give your kids food that contains fat but doesn't drive their cholesterol through the roof. How can you do that? Simple.

Are there different types of fat?

This is very important. Here are the 3 main types of fat:

Unsaturated Fats: Good for your kids. It can be found in a lot of plants and fish. This kind of fat will help your kids to grow and helps heart health. When I give you healthy snack recipes with some fat, I always make sure it's unsaturated fats that are good for your kids. Great snack is a tuna salad sandwich. But don't worry we'll take about great healthy snacks that have good fat later.

Note: When you are cooking try to use olive oil or canola oil because they have unsaturated fats.

Let's talk about bad fats now:

Saturated fats: It increases your cholesterol levels and has negative effect on your child's heart. It can be found in animal foods, butter, mayonnaise has a lot of saturated fats, milk, cheese. You can check the label to see how much saturated fat the product has. If you are not sure how to tell the difference, don't worry we'll have post for you on how to read the label.

Trans tats: The worst fat you can give to your kids. It increases cholesterol levels in the blood and is bad for the heart health. Try to avoid it.

Your kids need fat to grow and develop their little bodies. Our job is to make sure they are getting right amounts of the right fat. I'll help you to come up with great healthy snack ideas for kids that have vitamins and nutritions that kids need.

Protein Pancake Snack for Kids

Here is a great healthy and high in protein snack recipe for kids. You'll be able to make 11 pancakes.

1. Mix together 1 cup of
oatmeal with 1 cup of egg whites and 1 cup of fat-free cottage cheese. You can add some vanilla extract.

2. I personally like to add blueberry or little pieces of apple to the mixture. If you can think of other fruits to add, go ahead.

3. After you done adding ingredients, spray your non-stick pan with pam oil. Pour out the mixture as pancakes. After few minutes flip them to the other side.

4. You can serve them with some cold low fat
yogurt and strawberry on top :) You can serve it with glass of low-fat milk.

Now, let's see how much protein we have. Each pancake should have around 7 grams of protein and 0 fat. Kids love it. You can use this recipe to make a healthy breakfast or
healthy snack for kids.

Protein in Snacks

We don't always give our kids enough protein in the main meals. Healthy protein snack is a great way to ensure your kids get enough protein every day.

Why do our kids need protein?

They need protein (and we need it too) to build new cells and repair damaged tissues. Kids need protein to grow. And we know how fast kids grow. I don't want to go into the details but protein consists of 22 amino acids. Our bodies can make only 13 types of amino acids out of 22. So we need to eat different types of food to get the other 9. And I'll tell you later what food you need to eat to get it.

How much protein does our kids need per day?

It depends on your child's weight. Kids need 1 gram of protein for every 2 pounds. You'll need to do some math here.

Where to find protein?

Now that we know why and how much protein kids need every day let's talk about different healthy snacks packed with protein. While we are trying to provide our kids with enough protein we want to avoid giving them "bad" fat, and I'll talk about good and bad fat in my next post. A lot of high in protein foods have a lot of "bad" fat. It takes planing to come up with a healthy balanced diet for your kid. I'll just list high-protein foods for you very quickly: beef, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, and rice.

We'll talk about high protein snacks later. I have few great recipes that I can' wait to share with you.

10 Worst Snacks for Kids

There are much more than 10 worst snacks for kids but I'll just list top 10. By worst snack I mean high in sugar and fat (trans fat and saturated fat), almost no vitamins and no nutritional value. I wanted to share this list with you, because every parent should know what our kids eat.

1. Potato Chips - in one 1 oz bag there is 225 calories and 15 grams of fat. If you look at the label there is nothing but fat and carbs. The worst unhealthy snack for your kids.

2. Donuts - let's take "Crispy cream donuts", one serving 200 calories with 12 grams of fat. It's dough fried in oil. Give it to your kid for a snack only if you want him/her to have type II diabetes.

3. Cookies - even fat-free cookies are full of sugar and carbs. When we say fat-free we don't say calorie free. One chocolate chip cookie has 130 calories and 6 grams of fat. Not a good choice for a snack. Forgot to tell you, no one eats one cookie. If kids start eating cookies they'll eat 3 or 4. So you can multiply 130 x 4 = 520 calories.

4. Chicken nuggets - especially those Wendy's "4 piece Kid's Meal Nuggets" are the worst. 190 calories and 12 grams of fat.

5. Soda - any kind of soda. There is nothing good in soda. Did you know there are 10 teaspoons of sugar in one can of coca cola? Your children should not have more than 6-7 teaspoons of sugar per day, and that includes all the sugar they get from fruits and vegies during breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Did you know that you can clean coins by placing them in a glass with coca cola for 1 hour? Can you imagine what soda does to your kid's stomach? There is a lot of caffeine in sodas too, in case you are wondering why your child is so hyper.

6. Cupcakes - 1 cupcake has 130 calories 1.6 grams of fat 17 grams of sugar. As you can see there is no nutrition value in cupcakes. It's mostly carbs and sugar.

7. Candy - nutrition nightmare. There is nothing but sugar and as we know sugar is one of the leading causes of obesity and type II diabetes.

8. Crackers - My favorite are Ritz Crackers with cheddar cheese on top :) Nothing but carbs and fat. 80 calories per serving and 4 grams of fat. You can replace it with wheat crackers.

9. Ice cream - 1/2 cup of chocolate ice cream has 143 calories, 7 grams of fat (4g of saturated fat) and 16 grams of sugar. So there is nothing but carbs, fat and sugar.

10. Chocolate whole milk - packed with saturated fats. Tall-sized chocolate milk from Starbucks has 264 calories, 12 grams of fat and 27 grams of sugar.

Now that you know how many calories and fat are in all these snacks try to avoid them. Your kids deserve better and healthier snacks.

Strawberry Mouse

I made this snack for 2nd grade party. Believe me, when I tell you that kids picked this snack over cupcakes. I felt like the best mom in the world, who is not that good at baking but has a lot of imagination and knows how to use internet to find fun recipes. Here is how you make it.

1. Take large strawberries and cut them in half. Put it on the plate the flat side down.

2. Take mini chocolate chip for little eyes and nose and glue it to the strawberry using a little bit of icing.

3. For ears you can use slivered almonds.

4. Red licorice lace works perfect for the tail.

And you are done! Let me know if you know any good healthy snack recipes for kids.

Banan Hot Dog for Kids

Any time my kids asking me for a hot dog snack, and you know hot dogs are not the healthiest snacks out there, I make Banana Hot Dogs. Kids love this recipe. Very easy snack to make.

1. Take a whole-grain hot dog bun and toast it.
2. Spread a peanut butter on both sides. (looks like mustard)
3. Put one peeled banana in the middle.
4. And top it with jam. Strawberry jam works great. Looks like ketchup.
5. Sprinkle it with raisins.
6. Add a side of apple juice (with 50% water for less sugar) or milk.

You can also use this healthy snack for kid's party. If you have any healthy snack tips for kids, please let me know.

Halloween Fruit Bites

Healthy Snacks for Kids

Great way to have fun and get your kids to eat apples and nuts. Fruit bites is a healthy snack for kids that you can make together.

To make these little bites you can use pears or apples. Any nuts will work. We used peanuts.

1. Wash apples and pears. Dry them.
2. Quarter a pear, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter.
3. Sliver the peanuts.
4. Cut them into smaller teeth looking pieces.
5. Press the your peanuts into the pear to make teeth.

And your very scary snack is ready. If you know any good healthy snack recipes for kids you would like to share, please let me know.

Healthy Snacks for Kids - Hidden Sugars!

How healthy are your healthy snacks for kids? To make sure that your child is getting healthy food you have to learn how to read labels. So today I would like to talk about hidden sugars. Do you know how much sugar your child eats a day?

An average American child eats the equivalent of 20 teaspoons of sugar a day, according to figures from the most recent federal Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals. Nearly 60 percent of this intake, says the trade group The Sugar Association, is from corn sweeteners, used heavily in sodas and other sweetened drinks. Another 40 percent is from sucrose (table sugar), and a small amount comes from other sweeteners, such as honey and molasses.

A child should not get more than 10% of total calorie intake in sugar. That means, if your child gets around 1000 calories a day, there should be not more than 6 teaspoons of sugar.

So, why is sugar so bad for your child? Sugar not only bad for the teeth, but also research shows that sugar and refined carbohydrates are detrimental to your health in a multitude of ways, including increasing the risk of many chronic disorders including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and breast cancer.

But where does your child gets 20 teaspoons of sugar from? You'll be surprised when I tell you how much sugar there is in a simple common foods that our kids eat every day.

I think the worst out of all of them is Coca Cola. In a regular Coca Cola there is 10 teaspoons of sugar! So, when your child is asking you for a drink give him a apple juice with 50% added water. You child doesn't need extra sugar.

Cupcakes - how about 5 1/2 teaspoons of sugar. Not a healthy snack for kids.

Applesauce has 3 1/2 teaspoons of sugar added. Make sure to read a label. For your kid buy an applesauce with now sugar added.

Hershey candy 1 bar - 7 teaspoons.

Even in the whole wheat bread can be sugar. 2 slices of bread have 1 or 2 teaspoons sugar added. Check the label to make sure there was no sugar added. If you have any great healthy snack tips for kids, please let me know.

Healthy Snacks for Kids - It's all about Presentation

That's right, it's all about presentation. Kids love a lot of different colors and they have a great imagination. By presenting your food in a fun way you'll engage your kids in a game. Making healthy food is a very rewarding game.

When kids are little they just starting to develop tastes for different foods and if you give them a lot of healthy food they will begin to like it. Before you know it, they will pick their favorite healthy food and it's going to be hard to make them eat unhealthy.

Every parents want his kids to grow up healthy and happy. You need to start as early as possible. That's why I decided to create this web site, so I can help parents to develop healthy eating habits in their kids. So here are some fresh new idea presentations for you.

Rice, string beans and cucumbers. Kids would say - No way I am eating it! And how about this little lobster made out of mango and oranges?

Or we have a vegie island where palm trees are made out of carrots and green peppers. It's so rewarding when your kid can't wait for a healthy snack. My 4 year old is always asking if the little craby is coming over today.

But not matter what you do use your imagination and remember
healthy snacks for kids should be always fun. Let me know if you have any snack ideas.

Fun Healthy Snacks for Kids Part II

I got a lot of emails about my last funny healthy snacks for kids at had different sandwiches that you can make to get your kids to eat healthy and have fun with their food. So I decided to post few more. I know that it takes time to make and not all parents this days have time to make funny characters out of the food.

Great idea is to make it once or twice with your kids together so you can teach them how to make it. Next time when you don't have time give the all the ingredients and they will play with them for hours.

Here is a cow sandwich that took some time to make. If you don't have time for fancy sandwich go for a simple version. Make a frog. This frog took 5 min to make and if you notice it has a lot of lettuce that your kids need. Use your imagination. Kids don't notice the details. If your frog is not perfect don't get upset. Kids not going to notice.

I hope you had fun looking at this great
healthy snacks for kids. If you have ideas you would like to share let me know and I'll publish it on this site.

Healthy Snacks for Kids before the Dinner

Kids are always hungry. So while we are cooking dinner they are running around screaming “I am hungry and I want an ice cream”. It’s our job as a parent to teach our kids to eat healthy as early as possible. So I have great healthy snack tips for kids before the dinner. No, ice cream of course.

Sandwich Cut-Outs. Make a sandwich on whole grain bread. Cut out your favorite shape using a big cookie cutter. Eat the fun shape and the edges, too! If your child is old enough, let him help you pick the shape and cut it out. Kids love to help.

2. Make snack
kabobs. Put cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.

3. Make a
mini-sandwich with tuna or egg salad on a dinner roll. Use wholewheat roll if you have a choice.

4. Sprinkle grated Monterey Jack cheese over a
corn tortilla; fold in half and microwave for twenty seconds. Top with not spicy store salsa or homemade salsa. You can use not spicy salsa for kids in a lot of recipes. It's very easy to make and has a lot of vitamins your kids need. To make salsa at home chop tomatoes, green pepper, green onions and avocado. Add some salt and lemon juice.

5. Stuff a
whole-grain pita pocket with ricotta cheese and Granny Smith apple slices. Wash all the apples when you right after you buy them so it will take you only 2 minutes to prepare this snack.

6. Microwave a cup of tomato or vegetable
soup and enjoy with whole grain crackers. Canned soups don't have less vitamins than home made so if you have time make a lot of it and frizz. I usually put a little yellow sticky note with a date on it. It will take you just few minutes to warm it up.

7. Sprinkle grated Parmesan Cheese on hot
popcorn. I usually save this snack for the TV time rather than before the dinner.

8. Spread homemade mayo on a
flour tortilla. Top with a slice of turkey or ham, low-fat cheese and lettuce. Then roll it up. Trust me when I tell you that homemade mayo can be sooooo much healthier than the one you buy in a store. It will take you 5 min to make and you can always frizz it. I am sure that it will be gone. I have a great healthy recipe here.

9. Make a
Mini Pizza. Toast an English muffin, drizzle with pizza sauce and sprinkle with low-fat mozzarella cheese and add some vegies. This is your chance to put some vegies into your kid as long as you have a melted mozzarella cheese on top.

10. Try
Inside-Out Sandwich. Spread mustard on a slice of deli turkey. Wrap around a sesame bread stick.

I got hungry writing all these great snack ideas. You can see how easy it is to make a
healthy snack for kids. It takes less than 5 min. I am always looking for new snack ideas so please let know if you have a great healthy snack idea that you would like to share with the readers.

Sweet and Healthy Snacks for Kids

Can Sweet snacks be healthy for kids? Sure. In fact there a lot of great tips on how to make sweet healthy snacks for kids. I’ll give you my favorite. Don’t be surprised if you husband (or wife) starts eating them too

1. Homemade ice cream that is made of yogurt and banana. Peel a banana and dip it in yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze. Whole family can enjoy this healthy snack while watching TV in the evening.

2. Everybody wants an ice cream. But it the frozen yogurt can taste just as good, and sometimes even better, than the ice cream. Try it. Smear a scoop of frozen yogurt on two graham crackers and add sliced banana to make a yummy sandwich. Who can say no to this?

3. Top low-fat vanilla yogurt with crunchy granola and sprinkle with blueberries. I put strawberries some times, tastes great too.

4. Toast a whole grain waffle and top with low-fat yogurt and sliced peaches. If you don’t have fresh peaches go for the canned ones. Fresh fruits have much more vitamins and no preservatives.

5. Spread peanut butter on apple slices. Very quick and easy.

6. Toss dried cranberries and chopped walnuts in instant oatmeal. I am not a big fan of oatmeal but my kids like it so pretend to like it.

7. Mix together peanut butter and cornflakes in a bowl. Shape into balls and roll in crushed graham crackers.

8. Fill a waffle cone with cut-up fruit and top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.

9. Banana Split: Top a banana with low-fat vanilla and strawberry frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with your favorite whole-grain cereal. Who needs the ice cream?!

10. Break a graham cracker into bite-size pieces. Add to low-fat chocolate pudding along with a few miniature marshmallows.

11. Layer vanilla yogurt and mandarin oranges or blueberries in a tall glass. Top with a sprinkle of granola. Layers of fruits look so colorful and yummy. We all know kids love colorful food. Remember presentation is just as important.

As you can see it's very easy to make sweet and healthy snacks for kids. I am always looking for new snack ideas, so please let me know if you have a great healthy snack idea that you would like to share with the readers.

Summer Healthy Snacks for Kids

It’s important to have healthy snacks for kids especially during the summer time. Believe it or not, kids tend to gain weight during the summer months. A conducted study that was based on more than five-thousand school age children showed that children gain weight faster during the summer.

Surprised? I was surprised too. Think about it, during summer months kids spend much more time outside than during the school time. Why would they gain weight?

Weight gain problem can be blamed on lazy days of the summer when children don’t have school schedule and prefer to lay on the couch in front of TV instead.

Many kids have different sports activities after school that stops during summer which means more time for TV and computer games. And of course they like to watch TV eating potato chips or other junk food. So unhealthy snack and no exercise can cause your child to gain weight.

I started this site to help parents, like me, to come up with new ideas for healthy snacks for their kids. Because healthy child is a happy child. But before I talk about snacks there are few things you can do to get more activities for your kid.

* Summer Camp - It’s a great idea to send your child to the camp where they have great activity programs for kids all summer long. Kids will have fun and make a lot of new friends.

* Community Pool - If you can’t afford summer camp for your kid, try to spend more time outside on the weekend. You can take advantage of the community pools.

* Bike riding - You can go for a bike ride together.

Now, let's talk about healthy snacks. We are all busy working, and have not time cook a lot but it is so important for your child to get all the vitamins and minerals every day. While you are out at work make sure to provide your child with a lot of healthy snacks.

Buy different fruits and vegetables that your child enjoys. Snacks like baby carrots or apple can be easily cut and put in a zip baggies. Homemade ice cream is another great idea. We have a list of great healthy snacks for this summer that you can enjoy as a family.