Homeschool Healthy Kid-Friendly SnacksMarch 19, 2021
Guest post by Stephanie Wilkins.
While homeschooling, it’s so easy to open up a bag of chips for the kids, or indulge in packaged crackers and cookie treats. With nutrition being so important during the formative growth years, and since we know habits are also being established, during these times, why not introduce healthy snacking to them at an early age? Here are some alternatives that will leave them coming back for more. And, you know what? They can have as much as they want!
The Importance of Fruits and Nuts
Make fresh fruit available always. Why? The more enzymes the food has, the better the digestion is and fresh fruit is packed with them! Not only enzymes, but vitamins galore and fiber! Seasonally, here’s just a taste of what’s available:
Winter– grapefruit, lemons, oranges, tangerines.
Spring– apricots, avocado, mango, pineapple, rhubarb, strawberries.
Summer – blackberries, blueberries, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries.
Fall – apples, cranberries, figs, grapes, pears, pomegranate, and dates.
There are also a host of other fruits such as melons, and international fruits as well!
Nuts are great snack to carry with you while “on the go.” They provide the essential fatty acids our children’s bodies need, as well as a great amount of protein, magnesium, and fiber. If you want to calm a child down, give them an ounce of Brazil nuts for 37% of the RDI of magnesium we need. Magnesium calms the brain and helps a child sleep well. As well, one, yes, I said “one” Brazil nut has 175% of the selenium we need. Selenium is a trace element that is essential for the thyroid and influences your immune system as well as the growth of your cells.
Another great nut is the almond. A small handful has 37% of the RDI of Vitamin E, 19% RDI of magnesium, and 3.5 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. These little guys pack a lot of punch to be so small!
How to Make DIY Trail Mix
Many people already love trail mix, especially kids. That’s great, but Mom, please read the labels. Look for a trail mix that does not contain the following: salt, dried fruit with sulphites, sweetened chocolate, and sweetened yogurt-covered dried fruit. Good ones are out there, for sure, but you might want to consider making your own. It’s a fun project during the school day for you and the kids to do together.
Here’s a great recipe:
- 2 cups of shelled pecan halves
- 2 cups of raw almonds
- 1 small package of unsalted Sunflower seeds
- Dark chocolate bar (3)
- 2 tsp. of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1 small packet of Stevia
- 2 tbs. of butter
- 1 small package of sulfite-free dried apple rings
1. Microwave the chocolate bars in a small wide dish, lined with a microwavable baking sheet (for easy clean up).
2. Immediately pour shelled pecan halves into the dish and coat the pecans. Set aside for drying on the baking sheet inside the dish.
3. Melt butter in the microwave in a small bowl and then add 1 tsp of vanilla to the melted butter. Then add the cinnamon to the mixture and ½ of the packet of Stevia.
4. Place almonds on a baking sheet, lined with a baking sheet.
5. Brush the almonds with mixture and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
6. Let cool.
7. Chop the apple rings up into small bite-size pieces.
8. Add the almonds, pecans, and apple rings into a bowl, and then add in the sunflower seeds. Mix together.
9. Serve and enjoy a trail mix with NO salt, very low sugar, and no preservatives.
More Healthy And Delicious Snacks For Homeschool Kids
Another good way to serve nuts up to the kids is in the form of nut butters. Find nut butters that are organic, and that need to be stirred because the ones that do not need stirring usually contain palm oil. Palm oil is a saturated fat and one that you want to stay away from if possible.
For a chip and dip fix, the new plant-based dips found at most grocery stores are delicious and surprisingly nutritious. Many are cauliflower-based. My local Kroger has a store brand that’s really good. Try vegan queso with some organic multigrain corn chips. Just thinking about that one makes my mouth water!
Speaking of chips, did you know you can make your own? Air fryers are great to make healthy chips. Utilize sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, or beets for a crunchy, tasty mid-day snack.
Anyone like ice cream? Freeze unpeeled bananas for a delicious, creamy, frozen treat. Another dessert idea is to take frozen pineapple, a banana, and a handful of baby spinach and blend with almond milk for a smoothie your kids will ask for over and over again.
Mom, cooking a healthy snack may seem intimidating at first, but with these quick, kid-friendly snack items, you’ll get an A+ from your family!
More About the Author
Stephanie Wilkins is a board-certified nutrition counselor and founder of “No More Band-Aids” which is a ministry of encouragement and evidence-based research for caretakers and those suffering from chronic health conditions.
Stephanie is also a veteran homeschool mom of 21 years and has had the unique opportunity to have lived in four different countries and four different states. Stephanie’s passions are homeschooling, travel, health and wellness, and her faith.