Parents, you know this is true: snack time for kids is any time. You probably also know this other truth about kids: just because they liked a snack yesterday doesn’t mean they will still like it today. Places that offer child care in Potomac, MD see these two things every day, kids are always hungry and their preferences can change from one day to the next.
Kids are funny like that, so we’re here to save you from yours by giving you a choice of healthy snacks that nutritionists have approved for your kids to choose from. Remember that food stages are normal, and food is only healthy if your kids eat it.
Whole foods can help ensure your kids’ snack time is a healthy part of their daily diet. Just like adults, kids need a lot of protein, carbohydrates, and fat for energy. They also need minerals and the alphabet of vitamins for strong immune systems and healthy cell growth and function.
Prepackaged snacks are not always the best choice for kids, although sometimes they are the most convenient. Most of the time, they are made with refined flour, extra sugars, and artificial chemicals.
Your child’s snack time at home and at our Potomac child care center is a great chance to sneak in some extra nutrients. Instead of giving your child highly processed snack foods, give them whole foods that will give them energy and nutrients.
When your child’s stomach starts to grumble the next time, offer them one of these nutritious snacks for children to eat.
You may think of popcorn as a junk snack, but it’s a nutritious whole grain. Popcorn has the potential to be a healthy snack for children so long as it is not loaded down with unhealthy toppings. Make your own using an air popper, then drizzle it with some melted butter and finish it off with some grated Parmesan cheese. However, exercise extreme caution when giving popcorn to young kids as it poses a risk of choking if the kernels are too large.
Stick one to three pieces of fresh fruit at a time on a popsicle stick or a toothpick, then place the skewers in a freezer-safe container. After it has been frozen, serve it with cashews or coconut chips. It’s just like sucking on a fruit lollipop! You may also use frozen fruit; just let it defrost before skewering it. In the process, they will ingest a selection of vitamins and minerals and some fat, protein, and fiber.
“Ants on a log,” celery with peanut butter and raisins, is a fun way to get your child to eat a veggie. Cut a stick of celery into three or four pieces, put peanut butter inside each piece, and place a few raisins on top of the peanut butter. These three things have a good mix of carbs, protein, and fat.
No matter how you get them to eat it, yogurt is a healthy snack for kids. They can eat it with a spoon, sip it, or suck it out of a bag. It gives you some protein, calcium, and fat. Try to find 2% fat choices that aren’t sweetened, and add your own sweetness with fruit pieces or even a handful of chocolate chips. It’s better to add your own sweetness than to buy something that’s already sweet.
This is a soft cheese that is fresh and creamy. Even babies can eat it. It’s a good source of calcium, selenium, and vitamin B12. It also has a lot of protein. Children need vitamin B12 for healthy growth and brain development. You can eat it on its own, top it with fresh or dried fruit, or spread it on whole-wheat toast for a smooth spread.
This popular snack is like a charcuterie board for kids, and the combination makes a great healthy snack. Look for ones made from whole grains or nuts and seeds instead of just white flour to ensure they’re getting fiber and nutrients, and think about making your life easier by always having string cheese or Babybel in the fridge.
Pair part-skim string cheese with grape or cherry tomatoes or big tomatoes cut into single slices. Kids love both poppable tomatoes and string cheese. Cheese has up to 8 grams of protein, which keeps kids full and stimulated better than high-carb snacks that cause blood sugar to spike and then crash, and tomatoes have important vitamins and antioxidants.
Keep these in the fridge for a quick, energetic snack. Eggs are very healthy and make a good snack for kids. They are a good source of high-quality protein and numerous vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, riboflavin, and selenium. They also have two good nutrients for eye health: lutein and zeaxanthin. Also, they are one of the best food sources of choline, which is an important vitamin for brain growth.
Energy balls are made with healthy, whole foods, but they taste like cookie dough. Either ground flax or whole chia seeds can be used to make these snacks. Both are good sources of fiber, protein, and vitamins. They are a better option to store-bought granola bars, which often have a lot of sugar and fake ingredients.
Olives are full of healthy fats and vitamins that protect your body from chemicals called free radicals that can cause damage. Olives are soft, so kids can eat them quickly. Make sure to buy ones without pits for kids, or take the pits out before serving. Different kinds have different tastes. If your child has never tried olives before, start with black olives, which have a mild taste.
Something we see every day in our after school program in Potomac, MD, is that children are always hungry after a long day at school. Snacking between meals is not bad, especially if you provide them with quick and nutritious snacks.
Your children can obtain the daily dose of essential nutrients and the boost of energy that they need from a nutritious snack with our school age programs in Potomac, MD. At snack time, rather than giving your children prepackaged snack items, we try to give them unprocessed and whole foods.
MCCA has been recognized by the Maryland State Legislature for its commitment to Montgomery County issued a quality programs and special needs child care Proclamation in 2016 to MCCA for its commitment to Montgomery County child care for more than 50 years. MCCA was also selected as a 2018 nonprofit finalist for a MOXIE Award for boldness and innovation
MCCA is the oldest nonprofit licensed child care provider in Montgomery County and started its work in 1968 as a Community Action Project of the War on Poverty. Recognizing the need for quality child care programs in their neighborhoods, a group of local activists formed an association to establish centers in Montgomery County that would serve a diverse population and establish high standards for child care. Now, more than 50 years later, MCCA’s dedicated and expertly trained staff continue their tradition of providing high quality child care and play-based education for children.
Families with school aged children who can afford their child care expenses during the school year often struggle to afford the all-day programs they need when school is out for the summer. The Richard Krampf Summer Adventures Scholarship Fund was established to help provide children a safe and stimulating place to spend their weeks when school is out. Please contact an MCCA Director for details on how to apply.