Foodie Club Article- The Healthy Snack Game

Healthy snacks

“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!

Shopping Tips

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

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I founded Mums 'n Chums in 2009 after realizing that the area I live in was drastically underserviced as compared to surrounding areas for support and activities for growing families. Mums 'n Chums grew popular very quickly and I have been dedicated to nurturing that growth through frequent networking, social media engagement and in person meetups. By the end of its first year, Mums 'n Chums had close to 500 members and was receiving regular inquiries from fans outside of its service area, asking when we would be expanding to serve them as well. After much careful research and polling, I expanded the site in May of 2011 to cover the entire North end of the GTA (from Cambridge to Markham), areas I believe are still receiving far less attention than they deserve from other sites and family services. We also changed the focus from small scale local mom and tot meetups to more of an informative purpose, closing down our forum and adding several talented contributors to the blog. We do still offer several large scale family events per year, such as our popular Birthday Bash events and our Holiday Bash in December. Our contests have also become a member favourite, and we strive to offer amazing prizes from trusted brands like Babies R Us, La Roche Posay, Johnson's Baby and many more. In March of 2016, after months of work spent migrating all of the site's content to a new platform, Mums 'n Chums re-launched with its fresh, new look. The changes and expansion have proven a great success and we're still getting inquiries from several other cities within the Greater Toronto Area, whom we have decided to serve as well. I have built this site and its' reputation carefully and look forward to continuing its growth!