January 10, 2019

Ideas for fun, healthier snacks for sleepovers

by
Overhead shot of three grade-school aged girls wearing pajamas sharing a bowl of popcorn at a sleepver.

Pass on the chips and brownies and try these healthier sleepover snacks for your kid’s next party.

Weekend sleepovers are a fun way for your child to spend time with new (and old) friends. Sleepovers usually mean minimal sleep and maximum snacking.

While you might want to be the cool parent who has the greatest snacks and treats, it’s important to also think about health. Teaching children healthy eating habits at a young age is proven to lead to a healthier lifestyle as they grow up.

Creating a healthy eating environment at your child’s sleepover doesn’t have to eliminate all the flavor and great tastes that classic sleepover snacks provide. Below you will find a few alternatives to some staples that are sure to satisfy every child’s sweet and salty tooth.

1. Pass on the potato chips.

Potato chips are always a go-to sleepover snack. What is it about those chips that make them so enjoyable? Good guess: It’s the salty flavor and crunchy texture. There are plenty of alternatives to those crowd-pleasing snacks that will cut back on the calories, fat and sodium and still leave your children satisfied with the salty and crunchy bite they crave.

Replacement: Air-popped popcorn

Popcorn is lower in calories, fat and sodium than potato chips. If you don’t have a popcorn machine, you can purchase any low-calorie, low-sodium popcorn bags from the grocery store. Be sure to not select the kinds loaded with butter and salt. Want to add a little more pizzazz to the popcorn? Add some grated Parmesan cheese or sprinkle with cinnamon.

2. Skip the soda.

After an afternoon filled with running around and using every bit of energy they possibly can, the kids run into the kitchen looking for a drink to quench their thirst. Sodas may seem like an easy go-to, but think twice before serving up a glass. Not only will this have the kids bouncing off the walls the entire night (say goodbye to getting any sleep yourself), but also sodas are packed with empty calories, added sugar and caffeine.

Replacement: Fruit-infused water

This provides a low-calorie, sweet and thirst-quenching drink with no added sugar or caffeine. Bright and colorful, fruit-infused water is a fun drink for kids. You can use any fruits that you have around the kitchen, such as sliced oranges, apples and strawberries. Just slice, throw them into a pitcher of water and let them soak for around 30 minutes (or you can place it in your refrigerator overnight).

3. Transform the treats.

Chocolate chip cookies, brownies or candy may seem like an easy dessert option following dinner. Unfortunately, they also are packed with calories and added sugar.

Replacement: Dark chocolate-covered strawberries

This can be a fun dessert that gets the kids involved in the kitchen and increases their fruit intake. With the dark chocolate covering, this treat still provides that chocolate flavor they are all craving. Dipping strawberries adds more natural sugar to the treat and cuts back on calories as well. Get creative! You can serve chocolate-covered bananas and pineapples, too.

Using these helpful tips for sleepover food, you will be sure to have kids with happy hearts and healthy bodies at the end of the sleepover!