By: Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN
It’s a tale as old as time – kids, no matter their age, come home from school, practice or a playdate hungry and looking for something to eat. But it can be a struggle to find snacks that kids enjoy and that parents feel good about.
As a nutrition expert and mom of three, I’m always on the lookout for new foods that are fun, easy and give growing kids the nutrients they need. In fact, depending on their age, kids should be eating one to three snacks per day. Keeping healthy and delicious options available is key to smart snacking.
Here are six tips that can help you make the most of snack time (or any time) to keep kids full and provide them with the nutrients they need throughout the day.
Start the Day Off Right
It’s not always easy to squeeze a nutritious breakfast into busy mornings, but it’s an important way to start each day. Starting the day off right helps provide kids with the nutrients they need to learn and stay focused. Once snack time rolls around, they’ll be ready for something wholesome and delicious, that also supplies key nutrients kids need, like protein.
Stock Up on Kid-Friendly Options
One way to help make the most of snack time is choosing an option like Kemps® Smooth Cottage Cheese. This first-of-its-kind whole milk cottage cheese is high in protein and blended with real fruit to create a creamy taste and texture without curds that kids are sure to love. Not all kids may like the texture of traditional cottage cheese, which is one of the reasons why Kemps Smooth Cottage Cheese is so great. It was made with kids in mind. It is a quick and easy snack time solution that allows kids to be independent and make snack time more rewarding – all they need to do is just grab a spoon!
Look for Real Fruit Ingredients
While quick and easy, many packaged snacks use sugar and flavorings instead of real fruit. Make sure to read labels carefully to understand what is in kids’ snacks. Look for real fruit, not just fruit juice, and key vitamins and nutrients like calcium, while skipping out on artificial flavors, preservatives, colors and high-fructose corn syrup. Fruit also contains healthy fiber that will help keep kids feel fuller longer.
Model Healthy Habits
Kids learn by example in countless ways, and the way you take care of your own health and well-being is no exception. When kids see grownups they admire making smart choices about nutrition, they’re more likely to adopt those behaviors themselves. Join in the fun at snack time and create meaningful family moments by preparing or enjoying a nutritious snack together.
Pack In the Protein
Another way to make sure your kids are staying full between meals and getting the nutrients they need is with protein, a key macronutrient. However, one in seven school-aged children do not meet their daily protein intake goals. Dairy is a great solution to overcome this while also giving kids a tasty snack. Stock up on snacks like Kemps Smooth Cottage Cheese, which packs a protein punch, plus it contains probiotics, another key ingredient to support gut health.
About Frances Largeman-Roth
Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, is a nutrition expert, mom of 3, and author of the upcoming Everyday Snack Tray (Revell, November 2023); @FrancesLRothRD; www.franceslargemanroth.com. She writes and develops recipes for Parents, Parade, Today.com, and other publications.