Keeping your kids healthy and happy can be conflicting end games when confronted with the plethora of sugary snacks at the grocery store. The problem with sugar is that it spikes their energy for a short time then falls flat leaving your kids tired and often hungry. Sugar is also hugely addictive so it can easily lead to binge snacking and over-indulging. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are better options than chocolate or chips or soda as a snack that won’t crash and burn your kid’s energy (and mood). And who has time to craft little animal faces or decorative plates every single time?
Substitute a few of those sugary snacks with a snack from the list below and save those super sweet treats for special occasions:
When fruit dries it concentrates the sugar and any nutritional elements. Give smaller quantities and if you’re purchasing ‘snack packs’ of dried fruit watch for added sweeteners and opt for the ones that say ‘no sulphites’ – a preservative that adds colour.
An excellent energy booster! If you’re allergic to peanuts there are many soy options that could work or use a different nut if that’s an option for you. Spreading some PB on an apple slice or piece of celery works well – and adding a few raisins is a great substitute for jam!
Freezing fruits can slow down the eating and add an element of fun. Try seedless grapes as they make excellent frozen treats and almost taste like candy! Other options include blueberries, strawberries or watermelon. Frozen bananas can be whipped into an ice-creamy treat! And the best part is that this treat will last a few months in the freezer.
Shakes & Smoothies
Did you freeze all that fruit and now you’re not sure what else to use it for? Shakes and smoothies are a no-brainer for a tasty snack that you can sneak in extra vitamins or minerals into. Frozen berries will mask a spinach and a ripe banana adds smooth and creamy texture – add some yogurt or milk for a bit of calcium and/or orange juice for a tart taste. Yum!!
Coming off of any sugary treat ritual will be difficult, but the key is to give it a try more than once and remove the sugar as an option. Their tastes will adjust and soon you’ll feel much better about what you’re giving them to snack on.
Other snacks are things like yogurt (watch the sugar again), air popped popcorn, fresh fruits and a bit of cheese, or veggies and a bit of dip (maybe hummus?) – see what your kids go for.
In The Mix Programs offers Yoga and Hip Hop dance programs for children across Southern Ontario. Visit www.inthemixprograms.com to find a class near you!