Snack Smart

Choosing a variety of healthy snacks at the grocery store can be a challenge, especially when your child is begging for that bag of candy! But with a little planning, you can supply your household with balanced snacks that will leave your kids satisfied until dinnertime. These local moms share their tips for convenient, no-stress options and tricks to encourage a more healthy approach to snacking.    


 



Dare to Double

Packing healthy snacks and food for your family can seem challenging, but with a little planning ahead it’s a breeze. We typically pack fresh whole fruit, homemade snacks such as sugar-free cookies or breakfast bars, and water. I always double my recipes when I bake so that I can freeze some for a later date. That way, I don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen, and we have ready-to-eat options when we’re in a hurry. One of my favorite cookbooks to reference for baking is Against All Grain by Danielle Walker; we especially love her breakfast cookies and homemade granola. We’ll also frequently double up on wholesome pancakes and waffles, which make a great breakfast or snack!

Sara Mingus, Lookout Valley


 



Green Means Go

Setting your kids up for success when making healthy food choices is important. I have found that availability and autonomy have improved my kids’ attitudes, knowledge, and willingness to make healthy choices. We have a “green light” drawer with portioned out veggies and fruits in containers along with portioned dips like hummus and natural peanut butter. And for hot days, when colder snacks are preferred, we have a freezer full of frozen fruit. These drawers can be eaten from at any time without having to ask permission. Of course, we have days where Goldfish and Cheez-Its are the preference, but teaching your children to make healthy food choices will create a habit that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Cristin Doty, Hixson


 



Creativity Counts 

As a mom of three and a family physician, I’ve learned the importance of teaching healthy eating habits. My oldest, Madelyn, has celiac disease, meaning she is allergic to gluten. Emma Kate is my 7-year-old and unbelievably picky, while my middle child Casey enjoys a more varied diet. Between these three, finding a snack that they will agree on can be difficult. Thankfully, they all eat fruit – berries, oranges, pineapple, apple slices, and bananas are go-to snacks for us. For protein, a little peanut or almond butter on the side works well. Two of them enjoy gluten-free crackers with deli-sliced turkey or ham. Lightly salted popcorn is also an easy snack to bring with us in the car. With Emma Kate being so picky, I have found presenting her food creatively motivates her to eat more of the healthy things and stay out of the Doritos bag. We will make little fruit kabobs with toothpicks, or we’ll cut up her food into tiny pieces and serve it on a tea plate with a teacup full of water or milk.

Sue Gouge, Collegedale
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