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what kinds of snacks and meals do you serve you kids?

631 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  broodymama
i am looking for ideas for healthy snacks for my kids or ideas on organizing these things. i have a 1yo, 3yo, and 5yo. i feel like a short order chef with these guys and i'm starting to resent it and want to alleviate the stress of it. my goal is to find a handful or 2 of snack i can prepare ahead of time and either leave out or accessible for them to get by themselves. they snack me to death. and also some ideas on b-fast and lunch items that are a hit with your families. i also would like them to depend on themselves more. thanks!
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I have an 8 year old daughter who has never been sick for more than a day. She has never been to the doctor for any illness. I owe this to a nutritional diet, exercise, and education! Ever since she could eat solid food, I always made sure she had a wide range of nutritioanlly sound foods to try. Whole grains, colorful fresh veggies and fruits, 100% juices, lean unproccessed meats, and organics when you can get them! It isn't always easy shopping healthy- I am by no means rich! I work at a fastfood chain, and have for 10 years, and yet my family is always fit and healthy.
For snacks try things like wholegrain crackers and carrotsticks, or fresh fruits like strawberries or melon. Yogurt is a great staple! Make sure to look at how much sugar it has, though. Brown rice is very nutritious, cheap, and tasty. Combine it with chicken breast and sweet red bellpeppers, onion, and spinach and season it to your liking! Avoid salty, sugary snacks and meals...use herbs and lightly salt your cooking. Beans of all kinds are high in iron, protein, and fiber. Tofu can be made to taste like pretty much whatever you cook it with, has complete proteins, and low in fats. Younger children need more fat, remember, for healthy brain developement. Let your kids drink plenty of water instead of lots of juice or pop or milk. To get them to eat dark, leafy greens just put them on a sandwich with some turkey and cheese.
If they eat a high-fiber, filling breakfast, they won't need to snack so much. Oatmeal- easy, tasty, filling. Eggs and wholegrain toast and a glass of milk. No cereal! Cereal makes you hungry an hour after you eat it! They really only need 2 or 3 snacks a day- between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, and maybe a small one after dinner but not less than 2 hours before bedtime. Breakfast should be the staple meal, with lunch following, and then a light dinner. Easy snacks are fresh veggie sticks, fruit, yogurt, string cheese, ovaltine, chips and salsa, veggiechips, and etc. My daughter LOVES cheese and fruit! Most kids do. Fresh veggies with a healthy dip are a favorite, and healthier than cooked veggies anyway.
I hope this was helpful!
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whole grain crackers
walnuts, pecans, other nuts
sunflower seeds
celery with nut butter and raisins
fruit smoothie

if you have candy, chocolates, potato chips, etc easy to grab then they will go for that first...easier not to have them (or very often).
Muffin tins. I only have one kid that eats though, so I don't know how you'd handle it if they all went for the crackers and then cried when they were gone. Unless you had 3 tins, the kind with 6 cups instead of 12. My only rule is that I don't refill a cup. If the cheese is gone, eat something else. This makes sure that he's getting a variety of stuff. I make about half of them fruits and veggie, 1 dip, a couple of them protein, and a couple of carbs.

Every kid I've tried it with loves it! And you don't have to keep making snacks. Put them in the fridge when they aren't eating, then pull them out when they say they're hungry. Set them out to supplement lunch.
Bandgeek - I LOVE the idea, thank you for sharing!
I do the same idea as Bandgeek. I have two sectioned trays which I try to fill every morning. One is stuff that needs to be refridgerated and the other stays out. I fill mine with cheese cubes, chicken cubes, cooked pasta (whole wheat rigatoni, for example), olives, apple wedges, grapes, banana slices, kiwi chunks (or melon, orange slices, any fruit really), nuts, crackers, hard cooked eggs, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, prunes, raisins, dates, (any dried fruit), berries, sardines, carrots, celery, cukes, broccoli, cooked diced veggies, etc, etc.

I also don't refill. I try to put out one thing that might challenge them (smoked mussels, anyone?) and I think that they are far more open to trying when it's on their terms instead of on a plate in public at dinner...I'm always surprised! I also try to include something that's a bit of a treat like organic animal crackers or something.

My kids don't always eat dinner, but I know that they've been well fed throughout the day.

I put the refridgerated tray just inside the fridge at their level and the other one on the coffee table. They can help themselves when they want. With a new baby in the house, I LOVE not having to lug around a baby who is trying to stay plugged in to my nipple while I'm peeling carrots every ten minutes for the big boys!

So far, my boys have not fought over who gets what from the tray, so not an issue for us (yet).
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thanks for taking the time everyone. the muffin idea is perfect!
I forgot about muffin tins! I also have a 1, 3 and 5 year old and feel like I'm constantly gathering snacks for them. Tomorrow I'm going to make them a muffin tin.
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