We all want our children to eat what’s best for them but unfortunately, kids often have other ideas about what they want to eat. If you have a picky eater at home, balancing healthy fruits and veggies with sweet and salty processed foods can be a struggle. Avoiding added sugars is sometimes be as simple as coring, peeling, and pureeing home-grown or farm-fresh, organic apples instead of buying pre-packaged applesauce to snack on. However, sometimes you are going to have to get a little more creative. Start by taking fresh apples or pears, depending on your preference, and cutting them into small circles. Slather a little bit of natural peanut butter (or any kind of nut butter) over the face of each slice and use either raisins or nuts to decorate the top. It’s fun and easy for kids to help make and it will give your child a healthy serving of protein to keep their energy up while avoiding all the added sugars in most big name-brand peanut butters.
Keeping with the nutritional benefits of natural nut and peanut butters, a fun way to spruce up a snack of celery sticks is to coat the hollow of the celery with peanut/nut butter and place raisins on top of it. This snack is popularly known as “ants on a log” and is an especial hit with little boys or any child who is a fan of bugs.
Another option when it comes to healthy, homemade snacks is fruit cups. You can make them as sweet as you want them to be by adding different kinds of fruit. Essentially, all you have to do is create a fruit salad using all your favorite naturally grown fruits, mixing them all together before storing in individual, single-serve Tupperware containers, making an excellent snack for on-the-go. Just remember that once fruit has been cut, it has a very short fridge life compared to the fruit cups you can get at the grocery store, especially since there are no added preservatives in the stuff you make at home. With that in mind, make sure to prepare your fruit cups absolutely no more than two days before you intend to eat them and try to avoid adding apples which have been known to give off a slight gas that can react with other fruits and make them spoil faster.
If you’re looking for a more savory snack that is still nutritious, you can make a trail mix starting with whole wheat cereal and adding dried fruits like banana chips as well as seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower. It’s a crunchy thing to nibble on that will keep for weeks as long as it is stored in an airtight container. If you’re okay with adding a little bit of sweetness to your trail mix, you can throw in a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Of course, sweet little treats are always great in moderation. If you’re looking for something indulgent without stepping over the line, try spreading a little cream cheese over top of a graham cracker and then topping with either fresh berries or jam. It tastes like cheesecake and is an excellent source of calcium. Although healthy eating may seem like a daunting task, with a little creativity and access to fresh fruits and veggies, not treated with Viper herbicide, anything is possible.