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3 Healthy Snacking Challenges and a Fix for Each (Plus a Delicious Recipe for Dip!)

Photo my mllevphoto / iStock
Photo by mllevphoto / iStock

By Elizabeth Stark, Brooklyn Supper

Around mid-afternoon, kids usually need fast fuel to boost their energy...but most of the time, that winds up being half a cookie or a pack of crackers. Believe it or not, though, getting your kids into eating fresh and healthy snacks really is attainable!Take a look at these three snacking challenges and our fixes for each.

1. The Challenge: She loves her daily dose of sugar and won't give it up.

The Solution: Plan a healthier snack together!

Bring some psychology into play: When they have the freedom to choose what they eat, kids are more likely to eat it. All you have to do is guide her to a good decision! Before heading to the store, ask her what kinds of snacks she likes. Once she's piped up with a range of answers, ask her which snacks she thinks are healthy. If something like chips makes her healthy foods list, gently explain why that snack isn’t the best option, and try to get her thinking about healthy choices she enjoys. (Having trouble getting her on board with healthier options? Check out our tips for growing an adventurous eater.)

2. The Challenge: The taste of fresh foods isn't appealing to him.

The Solution: Try your hand at tasty dips...and maybe meals with hidden veggies!

Little ones are still developing their taste buds, and harsh, bitter tastes (such as those found in vegetables) can sometimes just be too overwhelming for them. To mask that flavor, try giving him a kid-friendly, yogurt-based dip. It might be all he needs to accept those celery sticks! You can always go with store-bought options, but we think the recipe for Tangy Green Goddess Dip (below, made with fresh herbs and yogurt) is definitely worth trying out.

If he's really not willing to eat veggies, there's nothing wrong with sneaking them into meals until he's ready to give them another try. Check out our carrot mac and cheese to get started.

3. The Challenge: You just don't have time to prepare a healthy snack each day.

The Solution: Plan, plan, plan ahead.

It's easy to say that there just isn't time to make a healthy snack, but all you really need to do is plan ahead to make it happen (and the same applies to meals, too). Are you slicing up some peppers and celery for a stir-fry dinner? Slice up some extra peppers and save some celery sticks for tomorrow's snack. Making deviled eggs for a potluck? Keep some extra hard-boiled eggs in the fridge! 

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By Elizabeth Stark, Brooklyn Supper

Around mid-afternoon, kids usually need fast fuel to boost their energy...but most of the time, that winds up being half a cookie or a pack of crackers. Believe it or not, though, getting your kids into eating fresh and healthy snacks really is attainable!Take a look at these three snacking challenges and our fixes for each.

1. The Challenge: She loves her daily dose of sugar and won't give it up.

The Solution: Plan a healthier snack together!

Bring some psychology into play: When they have the freedom to choose what they eat, kids are more likely to eat it. All you have to do is guide her to a good decision! Before heading to the store, ask her what kinds of snacks she likes. Once she's piped up with a range of answers, ask her which snacks she thinks are healthy. If something like chips makes her healthy foods list, gently explain why that snack isn’t the best option, and try to get her thinking about healthy choices she enjoys. (Having trouble getting her on board with healthier options? Check out our tips for growing an adventurous eater.)

2. The Challenge: The taste of fresh foods isn't appealing to him.

The Solution: Try your hand at tasty dips...and maybe meals with hidden veggies!

Little ones are still developing their taste buds, and harsh, bitter tastes (such as those found in vegetables) can sometimes just be too overwhelming for them. To mask that flavor, try giving him a kid-friendly, yogurt-based dip. It might be all he needs to accept those celery sticks! You can always go with store-bought options, but we think the recipe for Tangy Green Goddess Dip (below, made with fresh herbs and yogurt) is definitely worth trying out.

If he's really not willing to eat veggies, there are plenty of other healthy go-to snacks out there: fruit, hard-boiled eggs, or some pita strips and hummus are great substitutes. You can make sure he gets veggies in his system by sneaking them into meals until he's ready to give them another try (check out our carrot mac and cheese to get started).

3. The Challenge: You just don't have time to prepare a healthy snack each day.

The Solution: Plan, plan, plan ahead.

It's easy to say that there just isn't time to make a healthy snack, but all you really need to do is plan ahead to make it happen (and the same applies to meals, too). Are you slicing up some peppers and celery for a stir-fry dinner? Slice up some extra peppers and save some celery sticks for tomorrow's snack. Making deviled eggs for a potluck? Keep some extra hard-boiled eggs in the fridge! 

Tangy Green Goddess Dip/Salad Dressing

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced tarragon
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. 
  2. Serve immediately or keep in a sealed container in the fridge until ready, up to 5 days.
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