Children Health As the children stampede into the house after school, it’s likely one thing is on their mind: food. Whether they reach for something salted, sugared and processed – or a snack that’s much healthier but just as engaging as the commercial stuff – is an impulse you can help control while you foster healthy eating habits for kids.

Middle school kids, often in the middle of their growth spurts, want their snack and they want it now. So the most attractive choices are ready to grab when they fling open the refrigerator door. Many of these healthy snacks are easy to make and ready in minutes.

2 cool grab ‘n go snacks

  • Fruit and cheese kabobs. Kids love the “sword” look of a kabob. Cut small low-fat cheddar or brie into cubes or star shapes, and add bite-sized slices of apple, orange, berries or banana. Mix the combinations so that no two kabobs look alike. Arrange them on a plate, stick them in the fridge, and you’re done.
  • PB&A. Peanut butter and apples deliver vitamins B6 and E, and a good portion of fiber. Set up a do-it-yourself “snack bar” on your kitchen countertop with pre-sliced apples, smooth or chunky peanut butter for dipping, and perhaps a sprinkling of raisins, carob chips or M&Ms.

2 “bad” snacks that really aren’t

  • Devilled eggs. Full of protein and low in fat, hard-boiled eggs prepared with fat-free mayo filling are filling and tasty. Sprinkle the tops with paprika or chives if your kids like a little more zing in the flavor.
  • Pumpkin and cream cheese muffins. Don’t let the words “cream cheese” set off warning bells – it’s just a light topping. The muffin itself is made with sweet, Vitamin A-rich pumpkin, along with bran to boost the health factor. This snack can serve as a dessert for sweet-toothed adults, too!