There is a wealth of information available about the importance of good nutrition in regard to brain development. In particular, children who are still growing need to have a balance of complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, and of course, all the vitamins and minerals their little bodies need.
Establishing healthy eating habits with children at a young age is not only important to ensure they are getting the right nutrients they need, but it also will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle into adulthood. One of the most effective ways to help develop healthy eating habits is to expose young children to a variety of foods at young age. At Educational Playcare, the wellness of our students is so important, not only is it one of our Core Values, but it is why we provide a variety of healthy, kid-friendly snacks and lunches at no additional cost to all of our families.
We understand that at home parents may have limited time for cooking due to busy family schedules. Here are 7 healthy yet simple to make meal and snack options besides traditional sandwiches:
- Turkey or chicken and cheese wraps using lettuce, thin strips of red or yellow peppers, and a bit of salsa rather than mayonnaise.
- Pasta salad with mixed vegetables, cheese, diced hard boiled eggs, or even diced ham. Use an Italian dressing for something different or a ranch dressing for a more traditional taste.
- Whole grain crackers with cheese, meat, and your child’s favorite pickles. Each can be packaged separately, and the child can make his or her own “stackers” for some fun finger food.
- Fresh cut vegetables with a dip made of ranch dressing or plain yogurt with fresh or dried herbs. Try some unique vegetable options such as colored bell peppers, purple or orange cauliflower, fennel, or sugar peas for some variety.
- Cube up fresh fruit and provide a creamy dip. This can be made with vanilla yogurt or any other flavor your child enjoys. Remember, fruits and vegetables should be paired with a protein for energy.
- Homemade trail mix can include dried fruits, berries and nuts depending on your child’s preferences and what the school allows.
- Mini-pretzels with a side of salsa for dipping are a great snack and healthier than chips or sugary treats.
What are some of your family’s favorite healthy meals and snacks? For more ideas, follow us on Pinterest.