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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

10 Tips for Healthier Kid Snacks

It's OFFICIALLY Summer!  That means that you in charge of entertainment and food for your clan! Here are some great tips to make eating healthier a little more fun for both you and your kidders! I hope that you enjoyed your Memorial Day! 

The NO SODA challenge ended on Sunday and now it's time to put some focus on what we eat vs what we drink! That doesn't mean that you still shouldn't keep away from the soda and sugar drinks and focus on the ice cold water.  BUT, it's nice to switch it up a bit. With the kids home, lets focus on them!  (They will demand it anyway.)

1. Start A nibble tray. Take a muffin tin and fill each cup with a fruit or veggie and /or a healthy dip. Leave it on the table and the kids will munch on it throughout the day.

2. Put away the junk food. We all need a snack between meals so it is important to keep the healthy options available. I have found in my house that if junk food is not around, we happily fill our tummies with the good stuff. Plus junk food adds to my grocery bill without offering me any benefit for the money I am spending.

3. Freeze Fruit. Instead of frozen treats that contain harmful sweeteners and dyes opt to freeze fruit. Try bananas on a stick, dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with chopped almonds. OR blend together watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and banana, pour into popcicle trays and create your own fruit-cicle. Try THIS recipe on for size!

4. Grow a garden. Research shows that kids who participate in the growing of food are much more likely to want to eat what they grow. Plus the food tastes better.

5. Add veggies to your recipes. For example plain pasta is a simple carb but add some fresh tomatoes, onions or peppers and it begins to have some health benefits.

6. Make creative snacks. Remember ants on a log growing up (celery with peanut butter and raisins)? Perhaps you could make pizza faces with pita rounds, sauce, and veggies as eyes, nose and mouth and cheese as hair. HERE is a great site with TONS of ideas!

7. Put kids in charge. Lay out some healthy ingredients and let the kids get creative. Options include peanut butter, hummus, fruits and veggies cut into fun shapes, whole wheat crackers and so on. Let them make their own trail mix with nuts, granola and dried fruits. Again, kids are more likely to eat something that they created.

8. Make smoothies. You can hide a world of seemingly yucky foods in a yummy smoothie. For example the taste of Kale can be disguised when blended with frozen bananas, pineapple and mango.

9. Take raw fruits and veggies with you. This will be a more filling snack while you are out and you won’t add empty calories that lead to weight gain.

10. Be a good example. If you don’t eat veggies your kids won’t want to either. If you are frowning at the peas on your plate, your kids will find fault with them too. Kids will model behavior so engage in choices that you want them to mimic.

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