This is a great guest post that I received from a fellow homeschooling mom. I do often, head out the door for the day and have absolutely nothing planned for snacks. And inevitably will be faced with a melt down or two. What do I do? I head for the first fast food place I can find. Not great!
I have also gotten in the habit of thinking I’m doing well by buying ‘convenience packed’ snacks at the grocery store. You know what I mean, individually packaged cookies, crackers, bars, etc. But my idea of snacks are probably not the best thing to put in my kids. What I’m doing is feeding in to their short attention spans and super high energy levels that I am dealing with during the day. It’s convenient at the time but not when I’m pulling my hair out.
Anyway…on to the guest post!
Healthy Snack Tips
Here are a few ideas for healthy snacks for our children to keep their blood sugar more level which will eliminate “temper tantrums” and “meltdowns” or as I often see in my children – total “rev ups!”
I thought it would be helpful to you if I shared some of these ideas. Snacking this way will also help them think more clearly and stay more focused while doing school work. Try to feed them every three hours to keep them more level. Remember to take care of yourself too by eating regularly throughout the day. I always have a cooler in my van when I know I (and usually my children) will be out for a while. I pack hard boiled eggs, beef sticks or some meat, a bag of carrots, walnuts, brazil nuts, or other nuts and usually some psyllium since I eat lots of fiber throughout the day. At first, it is difficult to do this but once you get in the habit of it, it is a routine and eliminates the quick snack of plain crackers, chips, etc. that just make life a bit harder when moods disrupt as blood sugar levels rise quickly due to the fast breakdown of sugar in the blood.
- It is good to combine an animal protein, healthy carb (veggie, legume or fruit) and fat (raw nuts, nut butter, olives, butter, coconut oil, avocado) during each meal/snack.
- Fruit does spike blood sugar but it affects everyone differently. You know your child and know whether or not he/she is affected adversely by fruit. Try not to serve a fruit alone. Always add some nuts, nut butter or an animal protein with it. Cottage cheese can be a nice accompaniment if your child is not sensitive to dairy.
- Deviled eggs made with a good mayo that uses a cold pressed oil with carrots, celery, or a fruit
- Cheese sticks/beef sticks/beef jerky – Anderson Farm has some yummy beef sticks that can be purchased directly from them or Festival Foods served with a veggie and nuts. I also found a nitrate free beef jerky at Menards and Target recently. The beef is not a grass-raised version like Anderson but it is still a better alternative than the nitrate cured variety. Trader Joes has some good nitrate free jerky!
- Bean dip with veggies. You can add some turkey bacon (Trader Joes has nitrate free) to the bean dip for the animal protein.
- Nut butter on veggies with a slice of nitrate free turkey lunch meat – I purchase the large pack at Sams Club!
- Toothpicks with cubed cheese, grape or apple and cubed meat.
- Chicken legs cooked on low in the crock pot all day (I throw them in frozen) seasoned as you like or put bbq sauce (the variety without high fructose corn syrup) on them. These are great snack items and my boys really enjoy them. We have been know to bring these in the van in our cooler for snacks too – the non bbq variety due to the mess.
- Cream cheese or hard cheese on crackers with fruit or veggies on the side.
- Plain yogurt with fruit and nuts.
- Guacamole with baked chips and leftover taco meat or other meat.
- For smaller children – you can mash ripe banana and avocado together and they will enjoy.
- Sardines are a great, nutritional food if your children will eat them. Mine eat them off and on. They like to eat them on a whole wheat or rice cracker but be sure to purchase the variety without hydrogenated fats.
I hope these healthy snack tips help…especially with the new school year about to start!