How do we get our children to eat healthier and still enjoy mealtime? This is a question that parents have been asking for decades and it seems that sometimes, there is no right or wrong answer.
One nutritionist says less sugar and more protein, another says low carbs is the way to go. I say, give them what they like and make sure they have a wide range of healthy options available to them. If all you have in the pantry is candy and snack cakes, that is all they will eat. Stocking your pantry and refrigerator with healthy foods such as fruits, nuts and vegetables will ensure that your children are always making the right choice at snack time.
It’s no surprise that children are eaters of opportunity. If something is readily available and easy to eat, they will more than likely eat it. Prep up some carrot and celery sticks ahead of time and be sure to replace their high fat veggie dip with hummus or a homemade salsa. You may think that children won’t like the taste or appearance of hummus, but trust me, they will eat the stuff up before you know it.
Another healthy snack option that will make them think they are getting a treat is yogurt. With yogurt coming in an extensive array of flavors and offering a good amount of protein and vitamins, you children can’t go wrong. Avoid the lite or sugar free versions though, many doctors and nutritionists are now saying that children should avoid the fake sugars altogether and parents should monitor their real sugar intake instead.
Now that we are on the topic of sugars, be careful of those so-called healthy beverages that you are offering them. Juice, even the all-natural type, has more sugar in it than you might think with some of today’s juice offerings having just as much sugar as a can of soda. And here you thought you were offering them a healthy beverage. Instead of juice, opt for water; children need to drink a lot of water on a daily basis and snack time can be an opportunity to make that happen.
Everyone has specific snacks that they like and we could begin listing them from now until next Tuesday. Rather than do that, we feel that by offering up some helpful tips on how to help children choose the right snacks that will keep them healthy and strong, we can help parents everywhere take the foods that their children already like and make them a little healthier today. Thanks for reading and Good Snacking!