Community • 29 Apr 2020

Quick & Easy Healthy Snacks For Your Kids

By uci_admin

Quick & Easy Healthy Snacks For Your Kids

By Lilian Au, ND, MPH

Naturopathic Doctor

Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute

UCI Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences

Involve your kids to prepare healthy snacks at home while maintaining safety measures for your family. Make snack time a learning experience and plan creative ways to make food that is nutritious and delicious but also have stable shelf lives. Have your kids help cut up fruits and veggies, plate and serve them, and clean up as part of their daily activities, which makes for a fun break in their schedule, especially between virtual classroom or homework times.

Here are some quick and easy, nutrient rich snacks to make at home:

  • Apple or banana slices with nut butter (almond, cashew, sunflower, peanut)
  • Ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, and raisins)
  • Avocado toast
  • Smoothie with frozen fruit, spinach, kale, yogurt or milk
  • Cut up cheese wheels and fresh fruit slices
  • Cup of fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)
  • Cutie tangerines or mandarin oranges
  • Edamame (steamed)
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Homemade, dehydrated fruits of different shapes and sizes
  • Make your own trail mix of nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts) and dried fruit
  • Broccoli or cauliflower trees, celery or carrot sticks with hummus
  • Sweet potato or root vegetable chips
  • Tortilla chips with fresh salsa and guacamole
  • Yogurt with homemade granola
  • Make a colorful salad- aim for at least 4 different colors!

Let your kids choose snacks that represent all the colors of the rainbow! Fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, berries, carrots and greens are high in vitamin A and C (Maggini et al, 2010). Cheese, milk, and yogurt are good sources of calcium and vitamin D. Eggs, hummus, and nuts are high in zinc, protein-rich, and contain healthy fats (Maggini et al, 2010). These vitamins and nutrients are essential for your child’s growth and development but eating healthy is especially important right now for prevention of viral illnesses and keeping their immune systems strong and vital (Child et al, 2019; Maggini et al, 2018).

Childs CE, Calder PC, Miles EA. Diet and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1933.

Maggini S, Pierre A, Calder PC. Immune Function and Micronutrient Requirements Change over the Life Course. Nutrients. 2018;10(10):1531.

Maggini, S., S. Wenzlaff, and D. Hornig. “Essential role of vitamin C and zinc in child immunity and health.” Journal of International Medical Research 38.2 (2010): 386-414.

 

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