Celebrate summer! Whether you’re hitting the road for a family vacation or heading out to local parks and playgrounds for a staycation, planning ahead is key. And that means never leaving home without plenty of snacks on hand for the kids. Or if you are an expectant mom, sugar dips throughout the day, keep easy to grab snack ready for you too!
Standbys to Rely On
Some of our most flavorful fruits are in season and are great snacks for little fingers. Fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, and sweet cherries (since kids have a natural sweet tooth) are easy to eat on-the-go.
Small whole fruits like plums, nectarines and peaches make preschoolers feel grown up, and make grown ups feel like kids again!
More On-the-Go Snacks
Crunchy organic fruit and vegetable snacks are also great. They’re low in sodium and some have added choline which supports brain growth and eye health.
Whole grain crackers, whole wheat pretzels and dry, unsweetened cereals are good alternatives, too. Try making your own trail mix by combining cereal, unsalted nuts and dried fruit.
Insulated lunch bags are perfect for organic cheese sticks and vegetable slices.
Sweets and Treats
To counter the junky snacks that kids and parents see on TV, in the store and at other homes, good role modeling is essential. Choose healthy snacks and eat them in front of your children. Bravo, you!
Sweets have their place too and many children will just get obsessed with them if over-restricted. Try to avoid setting a precedent that every snack is a sweet or salty, but if the family indulges every so often and controls the portion size, this is a healthy way to teach moderation.
When outdoors, there is a small window of time for fresh fruit and vegetables or cooked foods to safely sit out unrefrigerated. If the outside temperature is over 90 F, food should not sit outside for more than an hour. Below 90 F, foods can be safely kept out for two hours. Keep this in mind to keep your family and friends food safe.
Most of all drink plenty of water to stay hydrated instead of sugary juices and sodas. And don’t overdo dried fruit; it has lots of sugar, too.
Too many choices can be overwhelming for young kids. Give your toddlers and preschoolers two or three choices of snacks. And vary them so they don’t get stuck on one food because toddlers love repetition.
Enjoy! Healthy snacking will keep everyone’s energy up.
Amy Marlow, MPH, RD, CDN, Nutrition Advisor, HAPPYFAMILY
A registered dietitian (RD), Amy also has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Maryland. She worked as a pediatric dietician at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, where she provided nutrition care in the pediatric oncology unit, high-risk obstetrics ward, and the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units. In addition to advising Happy Family, Amy helps manage the wellness program at a Fortune 500 company. Amy is the proud mother of three children.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post was written by a paid sponsor for the Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) Campaign 2014 – Happy Family. The opinions expressed by Happy Family and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of PAM or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Happy Family. Always consult with your medical provider regarding any personal health questions or decisions (including nutrition, diet, and exercise).