Healthy Snacks Your famiy will love!
It’s no secret that kids love to snack, and as parents it is important that you help them make the right choices when it comes to the food that they eat. Healthy snacking can incorporate important vitamins and nutrients into their diets, while simultaneously curbing their ever-growing appetites, so use the following eight tips when choosing snacks for your child from the Mayo Clinic.
Don’t keep junk food in the house. If the candy bars and potato chips are not accessible to your child, they will be less likely to ask for them.
Opt for whole-grains. Popular snacks such as pretzels and some cereals come in a whole-grain option. These can provide the energy and fiber that your growing child needs.
Add healthy dips or spreads. Fresh veggies can be livened up when dipped in fat-free ranch dressing, or use peanut butter to make snacks like celery and fresh fruit more appealing.
Offer more exotic options. Instead of sticking to the regular banana or apple as a healthy snack for your child, see if they’d like to try something a little different such as mangoes, cranberries, or roasted soy nuts.
Don’t be afraid of sweets. Healthy snacking doesn’t mean that sweet foods are out the window. Snacks like fat-free pudding and frozen yogurt or fruit bars can be great substitutes to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Check all nutrition facts. Many foods will claim to be low-fat, but can still be high in sodium and calories. Likewise, foods that are labeled to be low in cholesterol can be loaded with saturated fats and sugar. Make sure to read the entire nutrition label to find out what your child is really eating.
Provide a snacking zone. Enforce that your child only eats in one area of your home, such as the kitchen, to prevent them from over-indulging while watching TV. If they need a snack to-go, offer dip-free snacks such as string cheese or a banana.
Remember to have fun. Use cookie cutters to make whole-grain bread or fat-free cheese slices into fun shapes. Cut fresh fruit into cubes and teach your child how to eat it with chop sticks. Get creative! Having fun with healthy foods will make your kids more likely to enjoy them.
Educating your child on what it means to eat healthy will help them to make smarter food choices later in their lives. Start now and set the stage for a life full of yummy, healthy snacks!