Research demonstrates that snacks are just as important as healthy main meals, especially in helping children learn healthy eating habits. Coming up with new ideas for healthy low-fat snacks for kids may be the most challenging part of improving your child’s eating habits.
You want to offer your child variety while still ensuring they receive all the vitamins and nutrients they need.
Low-Fat vs High-Fat Snacks
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of children and adolescents were classified as obese in 2008.
Healthcare professionals and nutritionists champion low-fat snacks for kids because the high-fat snack alternatives offer nothing by way of nutritional value but are high in saturated fat, total fat, and calories.
Eating high-fat snacks regularly would lead to excessive weight gain quickly. This leads to obesity and the health risks associated with it. Of course, most children will usually prefer high-fat snacks over low-fat snacks, saying they are tastier and what their friends have. This is why it is crucial for a parent to keep low-fat snacks varied and as attractive to the child as possible.
List of Low-Fat Snacks For Kids
Kids may not always appreciate healthy snacks, but they will always be up for some fun! Taking fruits and veggies and giving them a fun added twist can sometimes be all it takes to win over even the fussiest of children.
Healthy kids’ snacks don’t have to be boring, and this cheesy tomato recipe is easy to make and fun to eat. All you need are some cherry tomatoes, cream cheese and some nuts.
Put a few cherry tomatoes on a plate and add a single teaspoon-full of cream cheese to each one. If you want, as an added twist, you can add raisins or even nuts to the top.
Low-fat recipes such as this one make ideal healthy after-school snacks.
Funky Carrot Trains
Raw carrots are popular low-fat snacks, and in the bid to reduce cases of child obesity, many large chain fast-food restaurants offer carrot sticks or slices as an alternative to unhealthy French fries.
All you need here are some carrots, cream cheese or peanut butter and some nuts or raisins.
Cutting a whole carrot in half and then slicing down the middle makes an ideal base for other goodies to be added. Add in cream cheese or peanut butter, add raisins or pecan nuts, and your child has his very own cheesy train complete with passengers.
Crazy Carrot Fact – According to the Danish Institute of Sciences, falcarinol, a property found in carrots, has proven to be an effective anti-cancer agent.
Hot Snacks For Kids
Mention low-fat snacks to a busy parent, and they will automatically think of something cold, which can be prepared in 15 minutes maximum with little, or better no thought. However, healthy snacks for kids do not always have to be cold. Warm recipes can also do the trick and be an even bigger hit, especially if the weather is cold.
Veggies in a Blanket
Low-fat snacks don’t get much tastier than this, and they are ideal for children after a long day at school.
Warm two flour tortillas in a pan, spread a thin layer of peanut butter or cream cheese onto the tortilla, and add thin slices of cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes – you can also use spinach and carrot.
Then simply roll up and serve warm. You can cater to your child’s specific tastes by changing the ingredients you use, adding lean chicken, low-fat cheese or tofu if you want to make the wrap more filling.
Veggies in a blanket is the ideal recipe for parents looking for healthy snacks for kids or low-fat snacks on the go. If your child prefers the wraps cold, make a batch in the morning, wrap them in cellophane and keep them in the fridge. Veggie wraps also make ideal snacks for school.
Caramelised Baked Apples Delight
Low-fat snacks don’t have to be savoury. This healthy baked apple snack is ideal for children who have a sweet tooth. This snack is made in the microwave, so quick and easy to prepare, and the taste makes it hard to believe it is a healthy snack for kids. All you need is apples, raisins, cinnamon, brown sugar and a bit of butter.
Simply core two apples and slice a quarter-of-an-inch ring into each one. Place into a microwave dish and fill each apple with a mixture of brown sugar and raisins and a sprinkle of cinnamon before adding a small amount of low-fat butter.
Microwave for five or six minutes, making sure you keep an eye on the apples as they cook. Remove and allow to cool – this is important as the apples will be piping hot.
Although this recipe has more calories than other low-fat snacks, it contains little fat and plenty of essential vitamins and minerals. Maybe most importantly, this recipe is more filling than others, which will ensure your child’s appetite is satisfied until their next meal.
Pumpkin Soup Snack
Soup, of any variety, makes for an easy low-fat snack your child will enjoy in colder months. This pumpkin soup is an absolute favourite for my son. All you need is a pumpkin (Hokkaido), onions, garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice, some cream cheese, some bouillon. When tasting it, you might want to add some salt and pepper and maybe a bit of coriander.
Remember, soups that contain cream will have more calories and fat than those that don’t. You should also consider replacing any bread your child may have with their soup with tortilla wraps which are lower in fat and sodium. Vegetable soup is one of the more popular low-fat snacks, as it also offers an easy way to convince your child to eat vegetables they may not normally eat.
Low-Fat Fuel Boosters
A long day at school or daycare can take it out of a child… and their appetite. The period between lunch and dinner can feel like a lifetime to a person whose blood sugar may have dipped and whose stomach is growling. So, what are the best healthy after-school snacks for kids who want to get home and run straight out to play with friends? Those that provide instant energy!
- Nutty Trail Mix
Although Pecan nuts are exceptionally healthy, avoid giving your child more than a handful. Instead, bulk out with other nuts like walnuts and almonds – non-salted. You can also add some fresh orange and dried fruit like dates.
- Smoothie to Go
If your kid’s low-fat snacks need to be portable, then a healthy smoothie may be just the thing. Mixing a combination of your child’s favourite fruits and vegetables makes a tasty low-fat drink he can take out with him when he plays. The beauty of the smoothie is – you can hide extra fruits and vegetables in there that your child may not always be open to trying. Berries, apples, oranges, plums, pears are all popular smoothie ingredients. However, as long as you have a blender and an imagination, pretty much anything goes. Encourage your child to try out different flavours.
If your child is going outdoors with the smoothie, it is good to replace the glass cup with a plastic one.
The importance of healthy eating as a child has never been so vital. Countless studies by medical institutions and universities alike have shown that bad eating habits learned in childhood are carried into our adult life. It is also important to remember that YOU are your child’s role model, and what you eat will directly impact what they eat. If you won’t entertain the idea of incorporating low-fat snacks into your diet, how can you expect your child to choose healthy eating? Don’t be afraid to get stuck in; your child is much more likely to develop an interest in healthy, low-fat foods if they see you have a genuine interest.