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There comes a point in almost every child’s life where they make the switch from being a picky eater to a bottomless pit.  No matter how many times you feed them, it seems like they’re always hungry.  The truth of the matter is kids need more than 3 square meals a day to keep them going.  Many experts recommend giving them an additional two snacks a day to ensure their growing bodies get the proper nutrients.  Here are some snack ideas that are healthy, easy to make and sure to get your kids stamp of approval.

Parfaits

Parfaits are a tasty treat made with a mixture of fruits, yogurt and granola.  The yogurt provides calcium and protein for strong teeth and bones while the fruits give you a shot of potassium and vitamin C.  You can customize your parfait to suit your child’s taste and it won’t take you more than a couple minutes.  Check out this basic recipe and see what you can come up with.

  • 1 cup of fresh berries
  • ½ cup of yogurt
  • ¼ cup of granola

Assemble your parfait by alternating layers of fruit and yogurt.  Then, top it off with the granola and enjoy.

Frozen yogurt

Ice cream is delicious but it contains a lot of sugar and fat.  As a healthy alternative, we recommend whipping a batch of your own frozen yogurt.  Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than it sounds.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of frozen fruit
  • ½ cup of plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Place the ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine until smooth.  Serve the frozen yogurt immediately or freeze it in an airtight container until you’re ready.

Homemade gummy bears

Kids love candy but it offers minimal health benefits.  Now you can feel guilt-free about giving them sweets by creating your own healthy version of gummy bears.  Unlike popular store brands, this ingredient list doesn’t contain a bunch of sugar, chemicals and other additives.  In fact, you’ll only need 2 ingredients.

  • 1 ½ cups of 100% fruit juice
  • 4 tablespoons of plain gelatin

Combine the fruit juice and gelatin in a small pot, stirring the mixture until the gelatin dissolves.  Next, turn your stove to medium heat to get the mixture warm but don’t let it boil.  You’ll know it’s good to go when the mixture reaches a runny consistency.  From there, pour it into your candy mold and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Note:  Stay away from using pineapple juice because it has a reputation for not setting well.

Popcorn

When all else fails, you can’t go wrong with some good old fashioned popcorn.  It’s a cheap but filling snack that’s low on calories.  One cup of air popped popcorn has only 31 calories.  To get the most health benefits, prepare your snack using the stove or a popcorn maker.  Microwavable versions may be quicker but they’re packed with salt which can lead to high blood pressure.  Once popped, you can eat it as is or add some popcorn seasoning.  There are a wide range of flavors on the market including ranch, caramel, nacho cheese and bacon cheddar.  No matter which flavor you choose, be sure to read the labels and stay away from anything with too much sodium.