Tag Archive for: snacks

Family-Friendly Fare: Kid-Approved Recipes and Snacks for Picky Eaters

For parents and caregivers, finding food that a toddler, young child, or even a particular teenager will enjoy and that’s healthy can be a huge headache. Indeed, chefs of the family know that there are few things more frustrating than preparing a meal for the family only to have a child turn up their nose at it. Fortunately, all hope is not lost—it is possible to create nutritious, nurturing meals and snacks that kids and adults both enjoy. To help you with both recipe ideas and your shopping list, turn to Nick’s of Clinton.

What to Focus on When Choosing Snacks

When choosing snacks for a child, there are a few different considerations to keep top of mind:

  • Nutrition. Most parents want to provide their children with food that is packed full of nutrients. For all humans, eating a balanced diet that offers fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates is important, but for growing brains and bodies, it’s especially vital. When you think about snacks for your little ones, some nutrition musts are:
  • Energy-dense. You want what you’re feeding your child to nourish them and keep them full and provide plenty of energy. Energy comes from calories, but not all calories are the same. For example, refined sugar will burn off quickly and leave your child feeling drained—and may have numerous other deleterious effects. A high-protein snack, on the other hand, can serve as a source of energy that provides a more constant, reliable source of fuel for your child.
  • Unprocessed. More and more research is being published on the health impacts of processed food. Whenever possible, resist the temptation to just give your child a bag of chips or something wrapped in plastic with additives.
  • Balanced. Most experts agree that healthy eating involves balance between the food groups and the major macronutrients (fat, protein carbohydrates). In other words, don’t just give your kid fruit all day long, or just give them dairy, etc. Try to keep snacks more versatile, which will be beneficial for health and keeping your child’s interest. 
  • Safety. Depending on the age of the child that you’re feeding, safety could be an issue. Choking risk is greatest for children ages four and under, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the highest-risk foods (like hotdogs, grapes, nuts, etc.) and avoid these for children in this age group. 
  • Ease of eating. For many families, being able to eat while on the go is a critical aspect of maintaining schedules. Whether it’s a snack on the way to school or soccer practice, food that your kid can eat while in the car, walking, or transitioning from one activity to the next is key! As such, consider snacks that can be easily kept in a reusable bag and consumed without a lot of mess or utensils. For example, pudding probably isn’t the best, as it requires a spoon and is messy when spilled. 
  • Kid appeal (i.e. tastiness!). Being able to provide food that is safe, easy and relatively mess-free to consume, and nutritious all while passing a kid-approved taste test is the biggest challenge for parents. While sugar should never be added to kids’ snacks, keep in mind that healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nut butters) and reasonable amounts of salt can really improve flavor without compromising health quality. 
  • Your resources (budget, time). Finally, as a busy parent, you know yourself best when it comes to how much time and money you reasonably can afford to allocate to snack preparation. Keep these in mind as you navigate the recommendations below. 

Easy Kid-Friendly Snacks

Now that you’ve read up on some of the things you should be looking for in kid-friendly snacks, here are a few recipes that fit the bill. They’re healthy, safe for most age groups, easy to transport and consume on the go, are yummy, and are easy to prepare.

  • Egg bites. Grab some eggs, chop up some spinach, garlic, and any other veggies you want, and cheese (option!). Mix all together in a mixing bowl, pour into a greased muffin tin, and cook at 350 degrees until cooked through (about 20 minutes). Pop out and eat warm or cold! Great for breakfast, too. 
  • Seaweed wraps. Grab a package of sheets and add some mashed avocado and whatever else your child may love. Cooked salmon is a great option, but so is cheese, scrambled egg, or even some roasted veggies. 
  • Sweet potato sandwiches. To make these, cut a sweet potato into circular coins, about ½ thick. Spread out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and cook for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees. When finished, allow to cool and then make “sandwiches” by filling two pieces with nut butter and mashed berries, or cheese, avocado, pulled meat, etc. 
  • Smoothies. A smoothie is an easy thing to make and great for a child to enjoy in a cup with a lid and straw in the car. Focus on fruit and don’t be afraid to add some greens! Use a full-fat milk of your choice as the base instead of juice. 

Start Your Shopping Today

To get everything you need for your healthy, kid-friendly snacks, head to Nick’s of Clinton. Our team is here to assist you in finding everything you’re looking for. And if you don’t feel like cooking, we have plenty of pre-made options, too! For questions, give us a call at 301-843-4825.