As a parent, you have a busy schedule, but you still want to ensure your little one is getting the nutrition they need throughout the day. Snack time is a perfect time for your kids to get an extra serving of fruit or vegetables in their diet to support their growing bodies. Here’s a look at healthy snacks for your kids that are ideal for daycare and after school.
Most parents know that vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all of which are crucial for developing brains and bodies. They can also help protect your child against chronic diseases later in life, which is why most experts suggest starting early by exposing your child to a variety of vegetables as a toddler. By offering a wide range of veggies at a young age, your child is more likely to find ones they like. There are also many ways to dress up vegetables to encourage your child to develop healthy snacking habits. Our chefs at Loukinens’ on 4th in Springfield, Illinois recommend ants on a log (peanut butter on celery with raisins); crispy baked rainbow chips made with sliced sweet potatoes, beets, and parsnips; and cucumber cups loaded with ranch dip and carrots for after-school snacks.
Like vegetables, fruit is a great source of many essential vitamins and minerals, like potassium and vitamin C, which help sustain a healthy brain and body. Fruit is also rich in fiber. Relative to many other foods, fruits are naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium, and none have cholesterol. Plus, you can prepare fruits in fun ways to find out what your kids like best. If your kids don’t love their veggies, fruits are naturally sweet and usually more enjoyable for many little ones. At Loukinens’ on 4th in Springfield, Illinois, some of our favorite school snacks include baked apple slices with cinnamon, sliced pears with ricotta cheese, and blueberry popsicles made with plain yogurt and honey. For a simpler snack or grab-and-go solution, we love fruit cups, dried fruit, and unsweetened apple sauce.
Most kids eat plenty of grain products but too many of those grains are cakes, cookies, and sweetened cereals, which are high in sugars and saturated fat. Instead, you should aim to serve your kids mostly whole grains, which provide more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than refined grains. Many whole-grain products make excellent school snacks and can be served alone or with toppings like hummus, peanut butter, or low-fat cheese. Some of our favorites include banana oatmeal cookies, whole-wheat blueberry muffins, and whole-grain crackers topped with cheese.
Nee more than a snack? Visit Loukinens’ on 4th in Springfield, Illinois to enjoy a great lunch dining experience with your kids. At Loukinens’ on 4th, we have healthy choices on our menu for kids of all ages, ample patio seating, and friendly service. You can also call us at 217.670.1363 to make a reservation.