Juggling anything with children can prove to be a daunting task. Work, hobbies, and fitness tend to take a back seat when it comes to raising your children, rightfully so – nothing is more important than family. Kids require attention, supervision, entertainment, and most importantly, a healthy diet rich in nutrition while they are growing up.
It can be tempting to give your children a prepackaged snack when they are pulling at your shirt for food while you are trying to clean, or to stop your child from crying at the grocery store by allowing them to select their own treat. However, most ‘easy’ snacks are high in sugar, salts, fats, and other unhealthy additives. Luckily, with health and nutrition awareness being a bigger trend now than ever, many of your child’s favorite junk foods have healthy alternatives. Your kids won’t be able to tell the difference, and you’ll be relieved to know that they are getting the nutrients they need and not the ones they don’t.
Cheese-flavored snacks – Snacks that are bright orange and ‘cheese-flavored’ are oftentimes filled with food dyes and artificial flavoring. Rather than a cheese puff, try white cheddar popcorn. There are plenty of wholesome brands that offer real cheese flavor without artificial ingredients.
Chips – potato and tortilla chips are incredibly high in sodium and fats, but kids crave the salty crunch from them. Luckily, there are many brands of snack chips that are made entirely of lentils, beans, grains, and even dried vegetables. Kids will enjoy the same crunch and similar tastes.
Applesauce – It can be hard to argue that a snack made from apples would be unhealthy, but the reality is that applesauce often contains a lot of added sugar. Opt for a brand that does not add any sugar to the already-naturally-sweet fruit. Squeezable pouches are usually made with 100% pureed fruits and vegetables as well.
Ice cream – Try denying your kids their favorite after-dinner treat and you might be in for a world of trouble. Rather than cutting ice cream altogether, reward your children with frozen yogurt or fruit bars instead. The flavor combinations made by healthy brands seem endless, so there is bound to be a flavor for even the pickiest of snackers.
Juice/soda – While it is not necessarily a snack, most kids prefer to drink juice over plain water. These juices are more than likely filled with added sugars, artificial flavors, and unwanted caffeine. Flavored water will provide your children with the same bubbles that they love from soda or the same fruit flavors of their favorite fruit punch. The best part is that most flavored waters are sugar-free.
By switching out a few snacks for these healthier alternatives, you can ensure that you are helping your children get all of the nutrients they need to grow up big and strong.