Nothing shuts down creativity faster than hunger. It’s easy to forget about eating when one is lost in a meaningful project. This also applies to kids, so it’s important to stave off “hangry” episodes by being prepared. Here are 10 easy snacks to help your child’s imagination.
10 Easy Snacks to Help Your Child’s Imagination
Popcorn: We’ve come a long way from when popcorn was only available in the movie theatre or with a microwave. There are lots of single-serve bag options. Just make sure you’re paying attention to what’s been added. Simple ingredients and flavors made from real food are what you’re looking for (it is recommended children younger than four not be given popcorn).
Dark Chocolate: The magic word is flavanol. A plant nutrient found in many foods and drinks (including dark chocolate), flavanols have been shown to improve blood flow to the brain and heart. Dark chocolate has more flavanols than milk chocolate.
Frozen Grapes: A staple in our freezer during the hot Texas summers, but also great year-round. Put grapes in a ziplock bag and then toss them in the freezer. Your kiddo will love the sweet, cool taste while snacking on these. If your child is younger than four, cut the grapes in half.
Granola Bars: So convenient, but you have to carefully scan all the ingredients in store-bought bars. Pay attention to how much saturated fat and sugar are in each bar (I try to never go over six grams of sugar, aka 1.5 teaspoons in a bar). This past summer I received samples of MadeGood bars, which not only adhere to my six grams sugar goal, they are tasty, nut-free, and gluten-free.
Hummus and Veggies: Veggies alone are good, but no doubt veggies and hummus make an awesome combo. Hummus is good source of iron, which helps oxygen get to red blood cells.
Snack (or Trail) Mix: The same rule applies to store-bought snack mix as it does to granola bars…carefully scan the ingredients. If you’re looking to make mix at home, the internet world is full of recipes. Here’s one from Food.com.
Apples and Peanut Butter: One of the easiest go-to snacks out there, apples also have fiber, potassium, and are a water-rich food. Add peanut butter to slices for a protein boost to the snack (consider alternative butters if your family has nut allergies).
Yogurt: Once again it all comes down to the sugar. Make sure you look at how much sugar is in each serving. Consider purchasing Greek yogurt (which has less sugar and more protein than regular yogurt). Add some fresh or dried fruit on top.
Raisins: A food that’s often an easy sale to youngsters. Besides convenience, raisins are a good source for iron, protein, and carbohydrates. They also have a lot of fiber. Great alone or consider adding them to homemade snack mixes.
Water: Yes, technically not a food. But you’d be surprise how easy it is for kids to get dehydrated and not realize it. Simply put, water is needed by every cell in the body to work. When the body is dehydrated, the brain turns to mush (think lightheaded, dizzy, or tired). Make sure your kiddos always have access to water.
Keep those imaginations growing!