Since my son is just a year old, we don't have this problem yet, but I've been seeing many moms on social media freaking out about the amount of snacks their kids are consuming and how expensive their grocery bills are now that kids are home for the summer. If you're in this boat, you may be wondering about snacks you can feel good about your kid wanting all the time, because trust, they are going to want to eat all. the. time. But obviously some snacks are better than others when it comes to the ingredients. I spoke with two dietitians about some snacks that were tasty — but healthy — that kids would want to eat on the regular, and of which that parents could feel good about (even if their bank account doesn't).
What constitutes a "healthy" snack? Outpatient GI dietitian at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Kelsey Smith tells Romper, "I love that you include 'healthy' in quotes because it can mean a lot of different things to people. My typical guidance is that snacks should try to incorporate whole foods from two to three food groups when possible. For instance, a starch/grain plus protein combo could be peanut butter on whole grain crackers. Or a fruit plus dairy combo could be low-sugar yogurt with sliced berries on top or apples to dip."
Renae D'Andrea, a registered dietitian, mom, author, and the brains behind the Insta @newwaysnutrition adds, "I recommend looking for snacks that are low in sugar and salt, and have some fiber or protein in them to help sustain [your kid]. The last thing we want is a kid filling up on snacks and then getting hungry 30 minutes later... and that can definitely happen when snacks are carb heavy with low fiber and no protein or fat in them."
As far as how many snacks kids should be eating daily, D'Andrea says, "I don’t recommend starting snacks before your child turns 1 year old. After that, two to three snacks per day is the recommendation. Where your child falls in that range depends on their schedule, how active they are, and their general metabolism and needs."
And any of these seven healthy snacks would be a great option for any of the two to three allotted snacks per day for your child.