If you have children, you know snacks are a necessity. They help kids get the daily nutrients they need and also fill gaps between meals. There are easy, fun, and healthy snack ideas that any family can incorporate into their daily eating habits. 

A healthy diet is important to boost energy, prevent diseases, enhance immunity, manage weight, and improve overall health. Eating a healthy diet also connects to life insurance because life insurance for overweight individuals can be expensive. We will discuss healthy snack ideas, why a healthy diet is important, and how healthy eating connects to life insurance advantages.

What makes a healthy snack? 

A healthy snack should include lots of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fats. It should also minimize added sugar, sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and calories. 

All healthy snacks should include something with protein, something with fiber, and at least two or three food groups. The food groups include fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. 

Protein is found in meat, eggs, fish, seafood, beans, nuts, nut butter, seeds, and dairy products. It’s important for building and maintaining the structure of the body.

Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, nut butter, seeds, and whole grains. It helps prevent constipation because it keeps us regular. It also helps lower cholesterol levels and gives us a feeling of fullness to help manage weight. 

Heart-healthy fats are unsaturated fatty acids and are found in nuts, nut butter, fish, avocados, vegetable oils, and seeds. Fat is important for healthy skin, nerves, insulation of the body, and cushioning vital organs. 

An ideal healthy snack should also include a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables. The different colors of fruits and vegetables indicate different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and potassium, which help with many vital body functions and boost immunity. 

Fun Snack Ideas

Healthy snacks can also be fun snacks and easy snacks for families to make. Some easy snacks for kids to make include ants on a log, whole-grain English muffin pizzas, and yogurt parfaits. These have protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. 

Ants on a log includes celery, either peanut butter or other nut butter, and either raisins or dried cranberries. Children can help spread the peanut butter and add the raisins or dried cranberries as the ants. 

You can customize ants on a log depending on your family’s food preferences. Bananas, bell peppers, or carrots can be used for the log and cottage cheese or guacamole instead of peanut butter. The ants can be black beans, berries, or any other chopped fruits or veggies. 

Individual size pizzas can be made using whole-grain English muffins. Children can help add the toppings and personalize their own pizzas. Toppings can include low-fat mozzarella cheese, sliced veggies, or low-fat meats. 

Yogurt parfaits are a tasty treat and only require a few ingredients. Low-fat yogurt, fruit, granola, oats, or nuts can be layered to make a personalized parfait. 

Smoothies are another easy snack idea. You can use your choices for milk, yogurt, and fruit like berries or bananas. Add some spinach for a fun green color and added vitamins and minerals without changing the taste. 

Granola bars are a kid’s favorite, but the boxed granola bars are high in added sugar and low in nutrients. You can make homemade granola bars from oats, nuts, dried fruit, honey, and chocolate chips.

Other easy and tasty snack ideas for kids include:

  • Apple slices and string cheese
  • Carrots, celery, and tomatoes with hummus
  • Cucumber sandwiches with your choice of cheese, deli meat, or veggies
  • Hard-boiled eggs with strawberries
  • Mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with bananas or grapes
  • Popcorn and sliced oranges

How can I help my family eat more healthy snacks? 

Snack planning and preparation is a great time to involve all family members. A little creativity and fun are all that’s needed to help your family eat more healthy snacks. 

Presentation is important to help encourage children to try more snacks. A plate of different colored fruits and vegetables is visually appealing to anyone and can be served with fruit or veggie dip. 

Most children love to dip. You can use dips like salsa, guacamole, or a veggie dip served with whole-grain crackers, vegetables, or homemade baked tortilla chips. 

You can make a veggie dip from low-fat plain Greek yogurt and seasonings. A fruit dip can be made with low-fat yogurt, honey, and cinnamon. 

You can also use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of cheese, deli meat, sandwiches, fruits, or vegetables. 

Keep the healthy snacks visible and ready to eat. We are more likely to grab the foods we can see and eat with little preparation. It’s also helpful to keep unhealthy snacks or junk food out of plain sight. 

Children are also more likely to eat snacks they helped plan and prepare. Ask what snacks they would like and include them in the grocery shopping and preparation. 

Children can help slice or peel fruits and vegetables. Using kitchen utensils also helps improve fine motor skills. 

Sometimes it takes children multiple tastings of new food to enjoy eating it. It’s always great to try a new snack idea, but don’t get discouraged if they don’t like it right away. 

It may also help to explain to children why healthy snacks are important. These foods help them grow stronger, give them the energy to learn and play, help their muscles grow, and prevent them from getting sick. 

Life Insurance and a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is a cornerstone for living a healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating helps lower the risk for many chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. It’s also important to boost energy, improve immunity, and help with weight management. 

Life insurance is needed to protect your family in case something unexpected happens. It can provide financial resources to cover end-of-life or burial expenses. Life insurance rates are based on age, gender, health status, medical history, and occupation.

Life insurance is cheapest when you are young and healthy. It is more expensive when you have health issues, are older, or are overweight. You can get higher-risk life insurance when overweight, but it may be more costly, especially if you also have other health conditions. 

It’s helpful to compare rates online or work with an insurance agent to find the best deals for life insurance for you and your family. 

Healthy Snacks for Healthy Families

It can be easy and fun to feed your family healthy snacks. You just need a little planning, creativity, and presentation. Healthy snacks that contribute to a nutritious diet can keep you on track to putting your family’s health first.

Melissa Morris writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, EffortlessInsurance.com. She is a university professor of nutrition, a certified exercise physiologist, and a certified sports nutritionist.