Walking down the snack aisle at the grocery store can be confusing for parents, especially because there are so many snacks that are manufactured to market to kids. Your kids will see cartoon characters and brightly colored boxes, and many of those items are things that have been advertised on television commercials and online.
How do you choose snack foods for your kids without harming their health? Food choices have a direct impact on overall health and wellness, and childhood is the time that you are helping your children to set healthy habits for the rest of their lives.
Here is a list of healthy snacks that your kids will love:
According to the CDC, most children in the United States do not meet the recommendations for fruits and vegetables per day or the recommended amount of whole grains. Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults, according to studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders.
Instead of pulling out the box of ice cream or a package of popsicles filled with sugar and artificial colors, use frozen fruit and ice to make healthy smoothies instead. This sweet treat will help your family cool down, and everyone will love the activity of choosing the fruit to add to the blender.
Buy bulk bags of fruit at the grocery store to keep in the freezer, and you will be able to whip together a smoothie anytime. You can also use up any fruit in the fridge that needs to be eaten.
If you want to boost the health factor of the smoothie even more, try adding in a little bit of vegetables as well. For example, a few handfuls of spinach will blend nicely into the smoothie, and your kids won’t even notice that veggies are in their smoothie.
These are some of the common fruits and vegetables that taste delicious in smoothies:
You can add any type of fruit and veggie that you can imagine. For optimal health benefits, make sure to always choose organic produce to avoid the harmful chemicals and pesticides that are used in conventional farming.
AddingpHgreens raw alkalinizing superfood to the smoothie is one sure and easy way you can provide your children with 3-4 servings of raw greens in just 1 tsp. This superfood is made with 16 raw ingredients that were carefully selected for their highly alkalizing properties. It is a full spectrum alkalizing superfood blend of energy rich vegetables, cereal grasses, and sea algaes.
If you want to add protein to your child’s diet in his/her smoothie, I recommend Power Kids by Purium. Purium’s “Cherrylicious” is an organic blend of green foods, fruit, slow-burning carbohydrates and vegan protein designed to give nutritional support to kids of all ages.
Children love having a fun snack, such as a dip for their finger foods. Put together a veggie platter with hummus, or make a homemade ranch dip with organic, pasture raised milk. Look online and you can find many recipes for healthy dips, and you can switch up the dip each week to provide different flavors for your family.
Some of the common finger food veggies include:
° Carrot sticks
° Bell peppers
Don’t underestimate the tasty treat of plain fruit. Children love the sweet taste, and you can have the peace of mind that you are protecting their health with antioxidant-rich ingredients. Use different types of fruit to make a yummy fruit salad, and you will see that your children will eat it faster than you can keep the bowl filled.
Another option is to dress up the fruit with something extra. Try adding freshly ground peanut butter on top of apple or banana slices. Or blend up a coconut dip for finger foods. Sprinkle cinnamon on the fruit to make the flavors “pop.” Or, mix the fruit into organic Greek yogurt made from pasture-raised milk.
Here are a few ideas for fruit that is tasty in a fruit salad: apples, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, mango, and anything else that you have in the fridge!
Sometimes children want snacks that are similar to the products at the grocery store, and you can find many healthier recipes online. For example, look for homemade versions of:
° Granola bars, using oats and other low-sugar, healthy ingredients
° Gummies, made with gelatin and fruit juice
° Baked sweet potato French fries
° Fruit leather
° Dehydrated apple chips
° Kale chips
° Toaster pastries
If you look in the right place, you can find recipes that already include healthy ingredients. Or you can learn to substitute the ingredients for your own healthy choices instead. For example, instead of using white sugar, make substitutions with raw honey or another low-glycemic, organic sweetener.
Here are a few more finger foods that your kids might enjoy:
° Frozen grapes
° Mixed nuts
° Cheese slices and crackers (choose organic cheese from pasture-raised cows)
° Hard-boiled eggs (from organic, pasture-raised chickens)
° Frozen banana
Just because it’s snack time, doesn’t mean that you need to fill your kids with the junk food that is so common in the grocery store. Skip the potato chips and fruit snacks, and choose these healthier alternatives instead. Thrive Market has some great selections. You will have the peace of mind to know that you are taking care of the health of your family, and your children will love the delicious treats that are available at home.
Resources: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/07/31/85-snacks-for-kids-and-adults/ http://www.superhealthykids.com/recipe-category/snacks/