Making Fun and Healthy Snacks for Kids

Making fun and healthy snacks is a challenge for all parents. Children love snacking and they can be good to encourage fussy eaters, but are they having healthy snacks for kids?

The problem is that many children love to snack on foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories that, whilst nutritionally sound in themselves, are not healthy for them in large quantities. Modern parents are so busy that it is easy to purchase processed snacks from the grocery store. It can be muesli bars, crisps, fruit bars, muffins and single serve packets of cookies etc. Many children go to school with several of these snacks in their lunch box, placed there by well meaning parents who don’t want their children going hungry but who simply do not understand the potential harm that can be caused.

One of the problems for parents is to know what constitutes healthy snacks for kids. Many foods designed for children contain far too much fat and sugar, even when the packaging says they are healthy. It all comes down to moderation. Even foods that are labeled low fat can contain high amounts of sugar. Parents need to learn to read and understand food nutrition labels.

In a report produced in the United Kingdom it showed that children who eat a packet of crisps/chips per day consume 5 liters of cooking oil per year. That is a huge amount of fat. Unfortunately, many children eat more than one packet per day. Some children regularly consume 3 or 4 packets per day. Consider the implications of the calories they are consuming and the potential damage caused by their arteries becoming blocked at a young age.

Children are always hungry when they return home from school. They want to be fed instantly. They don’t want to wait for dinner. They want something to satisfy their hunger immediately. Maybe they open the fridge and grab the closest food, it may be a pie or pastry but most children know where snack foods like crisps and candy bars are kept and these are the foods they grab.

But if you don’t have any in the house and give them an apple instead, the tantrum starts because they want their favorite foods. They are children who have no idea about nutrition so you need to take control. Maybe it does mean removing processed snacks from the pantry. It may take a couple of weeks for them to stop grumbling but in time they will get used to you providing healthy snacks.

So what are some healthy snacks for kids? Here are a few pointers:

  • Stay close to nature: Fresh fruits and vegetables make a great snack
  • Purchase or prepare a dip for them to have with celery or carrot sticks
  • Make a fruit smoothie with fresh fruit, milk or juice and a dollop of low fat yogurt. You can even add an egg for extra protein to satisfy their hunger
  • Make your own crisps by using a peeler to create thin slices of potato then lightly spray with extra virgin olive oil spray and bake in the oven, then you control the fat and salt
  • Cut up a range of their favorite in season fruit to create a healthy fruit salad, or poke a skewer through fruit chunks to make fruit kebabs
  • Always keep a store of fresh fruit in the house
  • Make up your own fruit and nut mixes with their favorite things like sultanas, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds etc and leave a bowl on the bench

Doing this will ensure that there are always healthy snacks for kids laying around where kids can grab for them rather than processed snacks that are high in calories, fat and sugar.

Learn to be creative regarding the snacks you allow your children to eat. A good way to look at it is to treat it like you would an allergy. If your child had an allergy to nuts then you would ensure that no nut product was provided for them. Well, do the same with high calorie snacks, treat it as though they have an allergy to excess sugar and fat and provide foods that won’t cause health issues in the future.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your children remain fit and healthy and eat balanced meals. Make those unhealthy foods they love an occasional treat. Don’t make a big issue if when they eat unhealthy foods or they may develop emotional issues based upon their physical appearance. You expect them to live for at least 70 years so you want to encourage healthy eating habits early on. Do you really think they will never eat another packet or crisps/chips, chocolate bar, pizza or burger? They will still eat these foods but they need to learn how to eat these foods in moderation and not see them as easy snacks and quick energy fixes.

This post does not constitute medical advice nor should it be substituted for professional medical advice. This post titled “Making Fun and Healthy Snacks for Kids” is intended for informational purposes only.

source : weightlosstips4kids


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