7 Days a Week: Healthy Snacks for Children

healthy snacks children

Children need to eat healthy snacks throughout the day. Trying to think of creative ways to feed your child the same healthy foods is a big challenge. Here are snack ideas for every day this week that will keep your kid coming back for more.

Sunday– Snack Kebobs. Cube low-fat cheese and wash some grapes. Alternate the grapes and cheese on the kebob. You can use any type of fruit with this snack. The children will love the fact that they have to play with their food by taking it off the kabob before they eat.

Monday– Fruit and Cereal. Whole-grain cereal, low-fat milk, and your child’s favorite fruits are all that make up this easy to make snack. Try using strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and other types of berries for a “Berry Crunch” cereal snack. Cube Granny Smith apples, Fuji apples, and Red Delicious apples for an “Apple Explosion” cereal. Use your imagination and have fun creating.

Tuesday– Pear slices and low-fat cheese. You can mix any combination of fruit and cheese to make this snack. A spin-off of peaches and cottage cheese this snack offers a new age twist to an old favorite. Slices of cheese, cubed cheese, string cheese, any kind of cheese will work. Oranges, bananas, or plums also work well.

fruit shake

Wednesday– Fruit Shake. Yum! Take your favorite fruit. Deseed and peel the fruit if necessary. Cut up the fruit and place in a blender with plain low-fat yogurt. Whirl the mixture together and pour in glasses. You have yourself a healthy and yummy fruit shake.

Thursday– Sweet Potato. Bake a sweet potato in the microwave until done. Cut the potato in half and add your child’s favorite toppings. You can use salsa, low-fat sour cream, low-fat cheese, or anything else healthy to top your sweet potato with. These can be kind of big for smaller children so think about halving the sweet potato.

Friday– Vegetable Plate. Cut up some tomato, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, and green bell peppers. Make a delicious veggie plate that your children cannot resist. Offer a low-fat version of your child’s favorite dressing to dip the veggies. Try making a face or a picture out of the veggies before serving them to your child.

Saturday– Celery and peanut butter. Cut pieces of celery and let your children dip it in peanut butter. You could even do the old favorite ants on a log and add raisins to the top. Try using cream cheese for the celery if your child doesn’t like peanut butter or is allergic to peanuts.

What’s good for your children to eat is also going to be beneficial to you as well. When you are making a snack for the kids be sure to set some aside for you as well. Try to stay away from foods that are high in fat and sodium. Eating food in between meals is very important to not just children. There are benefits that come from eating small healthy snacks in between our 3 large meals each day.

– Promote Learning. Having a snack will help your child learn and boost their memory. 

– Stops Overeating. Providing yourself or your children with snacks will stop overeating at dinner and other meals. 

– Fuel Growth. Healthy snacks have calories and nutrients that our kids need to fuel their growth. Want to become healthier with your children?

Check out www.choosemyplate.gov for fun games that teach you how to eat healthier and be active.

Sun Safety Facts for Children and Parents

sun clouds sky

Some exposure to the sun is healthy for everyone. The sun is the primary source of vitamin D for the world, which is necessary for better calcium absorption and preventing depression. Too much sun, or failure to properly protect the skin can cause skin damage, eye damage and in some cases skin cancer.

The UVA rays of the sun are the cause of skin cancer and premature aging. The sun’s UVB rays are the cause of burns, cataracts and immune system damage. The sun also has UVC rays, but these do not reach the earth because of the ozone layer.

How the Skin Reacts to the Sun

The skin’s reaction to the sun is caused by a chemical called melanin. Melanin helps to protect the skin. The amount of melanin in people’s skin varies depending on skin tone. People with a fair skin tone have much less melanin than people with dark skin.

Fair-skinned people are most likely to get burns and are at a higher risk of skin cancer. When people get a tan on their skin from the sun, this is caused by sun damage. The more time spent in the sun, the darker the tan gets. Too much sun can cause burns and even blistering.

Sun Safety Tips for Children

sunscreen children

To prevent sunburn, parents should always be sure that children are wearing a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. It is recommended that children stay indoors between 10 am and 2 pm, when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

If families must be outside during this time, it is important to try to stay in the shade. The heat of the sun can also cause dehydration from sweating, so parents and children should drink lots of water when out in the sun. Sun hats and sunglasses are important to protect the eyes from sun damage.

Sunscreen to Prevent Sun Burn and Damage

A sunscreen of at least SPF 30 should be used for children. Parents should be sure that sunscreen is applied to the entire body, even areas covered by clothes as clothing does not protect from the sun’s rays. The sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapplied throughout the day. If children are swimming, sunscreen should be reapplied upon leaving the water.

Sun Warnings

The sun causes serious damage if safety measures are not used. Skin cancer and serious burns can be prevented with the right sunscreen. The sun can also cause overheating, which can lead to heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

Nausea, vomiting, fainting and delirium are signs of either of these problems and need immediate medical attention. If a child has a fever, trouble looking at light or has an infected sun burn parents should also contact the family doctor.