A - M
You offer fruit. They beg for candy, cookies, chips -- and more candy. What's a health-conscious mom to do? Meet them halfway, with treats that are crunchy, appealing, and that satisfy their "fun" tooth too.
A Almonds are nutritional powerhouses: high in fiber, protein, vitamin E, calcium, riboflavin, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and healthy monounsaturated fat. A small handful (about one ounce) is just the right amount for kids to munch on. (Note: Do not give nuts to children under 3; they can be a choking hazard.)
B Breakfast Bars are, admittedly, not as good for kids as a bowl of fortified cereal with milk is, but they're more portable and fun to eat. Health Valley brand contains 100 percent RDV (recommended daily value) of vitamin E and 25 percent of calcium, and it's low in fat too.
C Cheese is a great source of calcium and protein, and nearly every child loves it. But you already know that. What you may not realize is that low-fat American slices provide a full 25 percent RDV of calcium and five grams of protein. For a clever presentation, cut slices into shapes with assorted cookie cutters.
D Dried Cranberries, a.k.a. Craisins, are a great alternative to raisins. Sweet, tart, and ruby red, one-third cup provides two grams of fiber and 11 percent RDV of vitamin C. For a snack that will give kids energy to burn, mix them with pistachios or peanuts.
E Eggs are more fun when they're painted in rainbow shades. Hard-boil eggs, then peel and place them in a bowl of water tinted with foodcoloring. After ten minutes, remove eggs and store in the refrigerator. Voila -- a high-quality, protein-packed snack your kids will fight over.
F Fruit Rolls are all-time favorites, but they're not all created equal. The best of the batch is Sunkist 100% Fruit Rolls, enriched with vitamin C. They're sweetened with fruit-juice concentrate instead of corn syrup.
G Gogurt is yogurt in a tube, and trust us: The funky packaging will have kids begging for more. One tube contains 10 percent RDV of calcium, and Gogurt has the LAC (live active cultures) seal, an indication that the product contains live, friendly bacteria, to aid digestion.
H Hummus and veggies are a match made in heaven. Kids love dips, and this one, made from pureed chickpeas and sesame seeds, is high in protein (two grams per two-ounce serving), vitamins B6 and C, and potassium. Smooth and mild-tasting, it's great for dunking assorted veggies.
I Ices are an ideal choice- if they're homemade. Pour 100 percent fruit juice into small plastic cups and freeze. (Insert Popsicle sticks before juice freezes completely.) For extra nutrition, drop a whole strawberry into each cup.
J Jelly spread on rice cakes is ho-hum, but a tower of mini rice cakes with jelly in between is an edible construction project -- and a nearly fat-free snack.
K Kosher Pickle Spears wrapped in deli-counter turkey slices make an excellent between-meal treat. An ounce of turkey provides 10 percent RDV of niacin, 7 percent of vitamin B6, and eight grams of protein. Pickles, though high in sodium, are basically fat- and calorie-free and make bland foods (such as turkey) more appealing.
L Low-fat Chocolate Milk isn't news -- but chocolate slushees are! Freeze in ice-cube trays and blend to make a delicious drink that contains 30 percent RDV of calcium, eight grams of protein, and only five grams of fat.
M Multigrain Toaster Waffles are lightly sweet, and some brands contain two grams of fiber per waffle. Spread with Nutella (a chocolate-hazelnut spread found next to the peanut butter in the supermarket) and fold in half for a dessertlike snack that's neat to eat.