Let’s face it. Being a parent in 2019 means being incredibly pressured for time. Between work, family and everything that comes in between, it can be easy to overlook some tasks during the day. And it’s even easier to look for a convenient compromise. But when it comes to nutrition and preparing healthy snacks for your kids, there can’t be any compromise. Ensuring that your kids eat healthy food is a necessity.
In addition to teaching children about the value of nutrition, it’s also important to teach them how to make the best choices. You want them to make choices that are healthy, positive and lead to productive results, and choices that stay with them for the rest of their lives. You want your kids to be active, energetic and well-balanced. And you probably won’t find those things in a bag of potato chips.
Even kids who are the pickiest eaters can learn to love healthy snacks. The earlier they start, the broader their tastes will become down the road. If you’re looking to teach your kids about the value of nutrition, here are some great tips on how to prepare healthy snacks for your kids that are fun, quick and above all… delicious!
Don’t Skimp On Fresh Fruit And Veggies
This might seem like an obvious choice, but believe it or not, many parents tend to forego healthy fruits and vegetables, and offer countless excuses for their neglect. For example, parents may say that fruits and vegetables are too expensive, too inconvenient to prepare, or that their kids just have fussy taste. But fruits and veggies rich in nutrients and vitamins aren’t difficult to prepare. They’re inexpensive, tasty and versatile. Not only that, they’re appealing to look at as well!
A bowl of fresh fruit arranged by both shape and color on your kitchen table can go a long way in promoting your child’s growing visual coordination. Many kids adore hummus for both its flavor and its texture. There are also plenty of alternative spreads and dips including almond butter, tzatziki and cashew butter, just to name a few. And best of all,most of these options won’t take you more than a few seconds to prepare!
Go With Whole Grain
One of the great benefits about whole grain bread is both its fiber and nutrient density. But whole grain options don’t have to be confined to bread alone. There are plenty of tasty choices to choose from when it comes to whole grain snacks like brown rice crackers, cereal, pita wraps, tortillas and even soy-based breads and wraps. In lieu of nachos, baked pitas with salsa can provide more energy without sacrificing the taste. And if your kids are pizza lovers (and who isn’t?), try swapping out traditional pizza dough for a whole wheat wrap topped with tomato sauce and plenty of low fat mozzarella cheese. Chances are your kids won’t even be able to tell the difference!
Lean On Leaner Meats
It seems like everywhere you turn these days, people are moving towards leaner meats that are lower in fat and higher in protein, with popular options like turkey breast, ham, roast beef and chicken breast. These heart healthy choices are significantly lower in saturated fat. Even better, consuming higher amounts of protein means healthier muscles, tissues and organs. Leaner meat options are not just relatively inexpensive, they also taste great! A quick roll-up can be made from a slice or two of deli meats and reduced fat cheese for an added burst of on the go energy they won’t be able to get enough of!
Don’t Be Afraid To Treat Them To A Treat Once In A While!
Treats are not always bad in and of themselves. But unfortunately, most of them are heavily processed with added preservatives and sweeteners that are great for a quick pick-me-up followed by an inevitable crash. However, treats you make yourself can be as healthy as they can be delicious! Fresh popcorn that isn’t drenched in butter can be a great between-meals munchie., Dark chocolate mixed with grated coconut and raw cocoa powder can be made into a variety of shapes and refrigerated for a hands-on experience that helps turn your kids into little dessert chefs! As long as you don’t go overboard with refined and processed ingredients, you might find that the occasional treats can be as rewarding as they are healthy.
Nutrition isn’t something to take for granted. And at The Pillars Christian Learning Center, we emphasize three fundamental pillars of health: a healthy mind, a healthy body and a healthy faith. Find out more at The Pillars Christian Learning Center.