These days many families struggle with dinnertime due to afterschool activities, homework and work responsibilities. Families arrive home hungry and it is often just too easy to grab a less than healthy snack. Little hands digging in for less than healthy options while you try to prepare dinner is just stressful and ruins appetites for the good stuff. Dinner is finally served and you are faced with a round of “I am not hungry! The answer? Have some healthy pre-dinner snacks available.
It does not help that we are constantly faced with endless choices of highly processed foods specifically marketed towards kids. Many of these foods are even disguised and marketed as healthy: fruit snacks (“high in vitamin C!”), granola bars that are essentially candy bars (‘loaded with whole grains!”), and even “vitamin cookies” (yes these really exist-I have seen them in my local grocery store right next to the Oreos).
An easy solution is to just have a plan for this time when dinner is being prepared and your kids tummies are telling them it is time to eat. By providing healthy pre-dinner snacks, you buy yourself some much need time to make a healthy dinner without ruining appetites.
5 Kid-Friendly, Healthy Pre-Dinner Snacks
Here are The Dinner Daily’s Top 5 Suggestions for healthy snacks.
Apples & Cottage Cheese – Slice up an apple, or any fruit on hand, and add a dollop of cottage cheese.
Edamame–Edamame is not only good for you, but fun for kids to eat. Boil a pot and serve it warm, or keep some in the fridge for a quick, cold snack. You can even purchase frozen versions that can be cooked in the microwave quickly.
Popcorn – Most kids love popcorn. Look for spices, cheese or even sweet powders you can sprinkle on top to change the flavor profile.
Veggies and Hummus or guacamole- Buy pre-chopped veggies (or chop them before you put them away). and put them on the table for snacking while you prep dinner. Or open a simply open a can of olives!
Hard Boiled Eggs –It takes just a few minutes to boil a bunch of eggs – keep them in the fridge and have them ready for snacking. Peel them in advance, then just slice on a plate and serve with some grapes or berries. I sometimes would drizzle the eggs with a bit of salad dressing to give them a bit more flavor.
Add a couple of these items to your shopping list next week and give it a try. Some of you may be thinking, “My kids are never going to give up their less than healthy snacks”. We can relate. If you’ve got picky eaters, read this recent blog post on improving the eating habits of picky eaters.
We’d love to share more information on meal planning, tips for grocery shopping and more easy dinner recipe ideas with you. Click here to receive more recipes, tips, and ideas for making dinnertime easier.
Or start your free trial of our weeknight meal plan service! Try it out for two weeks and get to know the benefits. You’ll get full access to our service, including meal plans, recipes, and the full shopping list.