Thursday, March 28 2024 11:33

Brandywine Table: Wholesome & Hearty Snacks for Spring

Written by Courtney H. Diener-Stokes

Kid-friendly snacks for the season

Enjoying a snack tray in the backyard

Fortunately, I learned the value of a wholesome snack tray when my three kids were very young. One day it dawned on me that instead of giving them filler foods to tide them over until their next meal, I could chose things to complement the meal. In the process, this approach took pressure off me and the planning for the upcoming meal because the kiddos already had lots of their vegetables covered.

Even now that my kids are tweens and teens, when they arrive home from school ravenous, I still resort to my trusty snack tray filled with raw veggies served with ranch dip or hummus. While a variety of raw vegetables serves as the main anchor of the communal tray, some days I add cheddar cheese with whole grain crackers and apple slices. Another day we might have oat and raisin energy bites or maybe some peanut butter with celery sticks.

Baking whole wheat milk and honey rolls

Parenting expert Chinyelu Kunz, founder of We Nurture Collective and a former preschool teacher for 25 years, knows a thing or two about the value of a wholesome snack tray as well as the best time to serve it. Kunz said an ideal time for morning snacks is between 9:45 and 10 a.m., when kids’ energy begins to run low, while around 4 p.m. is best for an afternoon snack.

The snack food goals should be to serve kids just enough to tide them over until the next regular meal while serving foods that are simple and in their natural state. Kunz said if you aim for a nice balance of sweet foods (like fresh fruit) with savory foods (like hummus), you’ll guarantee a happy snack time.

There are unlimited healthy snack pairing options for kids.

But beyond enjoying the food served, kids can also have fun preparing the snacks, plus they’ll learn basic skills in the kitchen. Kunz said that tasks like chopping and scrubbing fruits and vegetables help develop hand-eye coordination and other skills.

“When children participate in food preparation, they gain confidence in doing real work. They see that the food they have just helped prepare will soon be on the table for everyone to enjoy, and that caring and helping in our daily work creates a sense of togetherness,” she said. Other tasks, such as putting food out on a tray, setting the table and clearing the table can all be enjoyable for a child.

Read on for some wholesome and hearty snack ideas that your children are sure to enjoy!

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