A great way to increase nutrition in school age children is by providing healthy snacks. Providing kids healthy snacks at a young age helps them to make healthier choices as they grow up and set them up for a healthy future. Here are some healthy snack ideas to improve nutrition and health in school age children. Keeping healthy snacks available in the house and not having easy access to processed food snacks is the best way to instill healthy eating behaviors in children for life. Do your kids and your self a favor by providing nutrition dense foods that will nourish young bodies and minds! Doing so will improve their immune system, helping them reduce frequency of colds by providing many important vitamins and minerals not found in processed foods.

Fruits: Fruits provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fruits also help provide important fluids that help prevent dehydration.

Ideas: Pair a piece of fruit with a handful of nuts or seeds, or spread almond or peanut butter on an apple. Provides balanced carbohydrates, healthy fat, protein, and fiber for sustained focus and energy. Have frozen grapes handy for a frozen treat. Keep fresh fruit washed and available at all times so its easy to grab.

Vegetables: Vegetables are important for providing important vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin A. Vegetables also provide important insoluble and soluble fiber.

Ideas:  Instead of just celery and carrots, why not slice red or yellow peppers, zucchini and cucumber spears, or broccoli and cauliflower?  Dip in hummus, salsa, or avocado dip for an easy and tasty way to squeeze in extra vegetables, fiber, and protein for a healthy diet

Whole grains: Whole grains consist of three parts: the germ, bran, and endosperm. Whole grains are important because they contain the original vitamins and minerals essential for children’s growing bodies. Whole grains also contain fiber, which is important for good digestion.

Ideas: Whole grain tortilla wrap with peanut butter and banana, Brown rice with beans, whole wheat pitas stuffed with avocado and fresh veggies. Cooked quinoa with sliced fruit and walnuts with a sprinkle of cinnamon will provide whole grains, fruit and nuts.

Beans and Legumes: Beans are a great source of soluble fiber and important nutrients children need. Beans and legumes are high in protein and provide fullness and energy.

Ideas: Vegetables dipped in hummus, whole grain tortilla wrap with hummus and spinach and shredded carrots. A fun snack that kids can help with making is roasted garbanzo beans sprinkled with sea salt and other seasonings for a crunchy, wholesome snack

Nuts and Seeds: nuts and seeds provide healthy fats, protein, fiber, and important nutrients for healthy growing children. Healthy fats, protein, and fiber assist children with sustained energy and focus.

Ideas: spread nut butter on celery sticks and sprinkle with raisins, a small handful of nuts with a piece of fruit, almond butter on a rice cake or apple slices.