Healthy Snacks for Active Kids

Nutrition

Healthy snacks are important for everyone, but are especially important for kids who are very active during summer activities or at recess during the school year. Snacks provide energy for children during recess and in the classroom so they can focus better while learning and get through the rest of the day.

 

Fun Facts:

  • Energy in the early morning comes from dinner or a snack from the previous evening

  • Energy in the late morning comes from breakfast or a mid-morning snack

  • Energy in the afternoon comes from food eaten at lunch

  • Energy in the evening comes from food eaten during lunch or an afternoon snack

It is important for children who are active, or a part of sports teams to be fueled with healthy snacks throughout the day so they have the energy throughout the day.

Offering snacks can be beneficial because:

  • It can give children the fuel they need during recess, gym, or even to get them through their classes

  • It reduces their hunger and improves concentration throughout the day so that they are focused on their school work rather than thinking of food

  • It models healthy behaviors and teaches kids to eat healthier from a young age

Tips to get kids to eat healthier snacks:

  • Parents or caregivers can pack the kids’ snacks with the kids in the mornings

  • The entire family can eat the same snacks 

  • Include a variety of healthy snacks into the child’s week 

  • Pair one of the child’s favorite treats with fresh fruit or vegetables 

    • Example: 1 cookie can be paired with a medium fruit

 

Depending on the level activity and your child, snacks can be small or slightly larger. A small snack is typically a single serving from the good guide whereas a larger snack almost like a “mini meal”. Healthy snack can be easy and fun, but the trick is to add a variety into your week and try new things. 

Here is a list of healthy snack ideas that can be tried at home.

Smaller Snack Ideas:

  • 1 medium fresh fruit

  • 1 large celery stock

  • ¾ cup of plain yogurt drizzled with a little honey and cinnamon

  • Yogurt topped with fresh or frozen fruit

  • 2 cups of air popped popcorn

  • 2 tablespoons of nuts like:

    • Cashews

    • Walnuts

    • Unsalted peanuts

    • Almonds

    • Sunflower seeds

  • 250 mL (1 cup) of vegetables like:

    • Mini carrots

    • Cucumber

    • Zucchinis

    • Cherry tomatoes

 Larger Snack Ideas:

  • 1 slice of whole grain bread, roti, pita bread, or naan with 1 tablespoon (15mL) of hummus

  • ½ a whole grain bagel with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or nut butter

  • 7 whole grain crackers with 30 grams (1 oz) of cheese 

  • 1 cup (250 mL) of milk with a banana

  • ¼ cup (60 mL) of homemade trail mix

  • ¼ cup (60 mL) of unsalted nuts with 1 medium fresh fruit

  • Plain greek yogurt sprinkled with your favourite trail mix or chopped fruit

  • Celery or baby carrots (or both!) with your favourite type of hummus

  • 1 sliced apple with any type of nut butter

Fun ideas:

  • Fruit/ vegetables and cheese kabob (add your favourite fruits and cheeses on a stick)

    • Can add blueberries, grapes, sliced strawberries, pineapple slices

    • Cucumber, cherry tomatoes, celery cubes, zucchini, peppers

  • Using a cookie cutter, cut out different shapes from fruits and vegetables ( works best with cucumbers, watermelon, pineapple or any other hard textured fruit)

  • Try these fun Fresh Fruit Rolls with Peach Sauce

Try preparing snacks on the weekend with your kids to keep them excited about their snacks

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