Queer Mama Memo: Making Healthy Snacks Fun

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Engaging children with the process can make healthy snacks more fun. Photo by Lance Cpl. Meloney R. Moses. Engaging children with the process can make healthy snacks more fun. Photo by Lance Cpl. Meloney R. Moses.
By Ejiria Walker, PQ Monthly
With so many options for snacks and treats, it can be difficult to choose which ones we want to feed our children.  I have found that the trick lies in making snacks at home and packing them in Ziplock baggies.  They last and are easy to transport during our busy days. Unhealthy snacks have a high sugar, fat, or sodium content.  These usually include cookies, chips, crackers, sodas, and trail mixes. While there might be snacks lower in fat, sodium, or sugar, they are still processed and most likely do not fall into the category of healthy or natural.  Just because a snack is described as "all natural" or "pure" does not mean it is nutritious.  Children grow fast and have fast metabolisms. Because of this, healthy snacks throughout the day are essential to help maintain their energy and nutrition level.  Snacks that fall into the category of unhealthy can be enjoyed, but on a occasional basis. The key is getting your child to be interested in what you are offering and make it more appealing than the colorful and decorative packaging seen in unhealthy snacks.  Change up what you offer.  Children get bored pretty easy, so offering them apples and carrots everyday will get old and they will soon not want to eat them.  Be creative in your snacks recipes.  Below are a few of our favorites.
  • My son is IN LOVE with sushi.  So I created fruit sushi (I am sure I am not the first one to do this, but it was new to us).  Cut up apples into small sticks.  Then wrap 3-4 in a melon wrap (cut about 1 inch x 3 inch). Dip them in honey and enjoy!
  • Edamame with seasoning.  Edamame can be bought at your local grocery store.   Boil it and season to taste.  I like to add sea salt and lemon pepper. YUM!
  • Naturally, children want sweets. I think it's embedded in their DNA. So we have cocoa popcorn.  We use olive oil in a pot, heat it up and pop the popcorn.  Once it is ready, instead of using salt or other savory seasonings, we use cocoa. Maybe a little cinnamon too.
Educating your children about eating healthy and about the different healthy options available.  Make it fun and they will be on board to eat healthy in no time! You can find more healthy snack ideas here.
EjiriaEjiria Walker is a queer femme mama and active community member. She is a military veteran and has been a nurse since 1998. Some of her favorite things to do include crafting, hiking, camping, and dancing. Ejiria enjoys expanding her son’s horizons and offering him as much of life as she can. You can reach her at ejiria[at]pqmonthly[dot]com.