“I’m hungry!” The kids have just descended on the kitchen and are rifling through the fridge and cupboards. What’s your game plan?
By Lori Tinella
You may be feeling a lot like many parents today, who find it a real challenge to teach their kids healthy eating habits when they’d rather reach for sugary treats. Satisfying those sugar cravings can be done with plenty of healthy, unprocessed and delicious foods that offer the sweetness to satisfy the craving and some nutrients to boot.
Win over your team with:
- Smoothies blended with low-fat yogurt, ripe or frozen fruit and a little ice. Add a little cocoa powder to entice fussy eaters. The flavour possibilities are virtually endless.
- Cream cheese and raisins spread on a celery stalk (the tried and true classic, “ants on a log”)
- Home-made granola bars using favourite cereals, dried fruits, and if allowed, nuts and seeds.
- Fresh fruit cut up and dipped in yogurt with a dash of cinnamon.
Kids on the Move
Packing snacks for kids on-the-go doesn’t have to compromise nutrition or taste. Give processed and packaged treats, high in salt and sugar, a time-out.
Instead, why not make your own trail mix? Dried fruits, a little granola, whole grain pretzels, raisins and small whole grain crackers come together for a healthy and kid-friendly portable treat. Kids of any age will appreciate making their own mixture from a variety of ingredients you set out for them. They’re also more likely to eat the healthy snacks they make!
Nutritious snacking starts with what we put in our grocery carts. Your kids will kick off to a great start if you choose:
- Unprocessed foods if possible. Think raw or close to it.
- Reduced-sugar or sugar-free alternatives.
- Baked snacks rather than fried ones.
- Low-fat choices whenever possible.
- Locally grown or made foods—they’re fresher and haven’t lost any nutrients during lengthy shipping.
- Let your kids shop with you and help pick their healthy snack foods.
If you make healthy snacks easily accessible and fun to eat, your kids will make them a habit!
Lori Tinella is the founder, owner of Little Chefs based in Erin, Ontario