29 Low Glycemic Index Snacks for Kids (and Adults!)

29 Low Glycemic Index Snacks for Kids (and Adults!)

This week I got an email from a new reader asking for ideas for low-glycemic index snacks for kids.

Never heard of the glycemic index? It has to do with how fast your body releases insulin when you eat a food. Kids (and adults) with diabetes need a low GI diet, but these foods are good for everyone. Here’s a good definition:

High glycemic index (GI) foods release sugar into the bloodstream quickly, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar. Low GI foods release sugar into the bloodstream slowly and do not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. High GI foods tend to lead to weight gain and are low in fiber. These foods are easy to overeat and encourage a rapid return of hunger.

(Need some help sorting out what’s low-GI and what’s not?  Here’s a good list of kid-friendly low-GI foods.)

So I thought I would help our reader friend out!  I rattled off a few ideas in an email to her, but here are some more I came up with when I put my thinking cap on. Deb, these are for you!

  1. veggies and hummus29 Low Glycemic Index Snacks for Kids (and Adults!) from LaughingLemonPie.com
  2. nuts and seeds
  3. string cheese—or cheese of any kind
  4. celery sticks with sugar-free nut butter
  5. cottage cheese with salsa
  6. carrots or jicama with bean dip or salsa
  7. oven-roasted crunchy chickpeas (vary the spices to your tastes)
  8. plain yogurt with a little fresh fruit or fruit puree
  9. air-popped popcorn
  10. radishes with butter and sea salt
  11. olives
  12. smoked salmon on lettuce leaves
  13. peaches or pears mashed into cottage cheese
  14. crushed cocoa nibs over sliced pears
  15. turkey pepperoni or prosciutto wrapped around string cheese
  16. pepedew peppers (from the supermarket olive bar) stuffed with goat cheese or feta
  17. baba ghanoush with veggies for dipping or whole wheat pita
  18. instant miso soup — or any soup, really
  19. halved cherry tomatoes and mozzarella (try boccocini) tossed with pesto
  20. slices of roast beef smeared with horseradish and blue cheese and rolled up
  21. sliced turkey wrapped around sour pickles
  22. edemame
  23. hard boiled eggs—or deviled eggs, or egg salad
  24. veggie chips—the make at home kind (kale chips, carrot chips, zucchini chips, etc.)
  25. chicken salad or tuna salad in lettuce leaves
  26. vegetable sushi made with brown rice (or no rice)
  27. quinoa salad
  28. roasted cauliflower
  29. roasted beets with goat cheese

And, actually most fruits and vegetables—with the notable exceptions of bananas and potatoes—have a low GI, so that’s where I’d always start! My toddler and I had a play date this morning and the kiddos ate diced mango, raw broccoli and carrot sticks for a snack—and were asking for more! Never underestimate the power of a dip; find one your kid likes and make fruits and veggies the star of their snack plates whenever possible.

I’m sure there are a ZILLION more.  Can you think of some good ones?  Let us know in the comments below.

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