Healthy snacks for kids

Snacks for kids don't have to be full of sugar and empty calories. There are plenty of options for us…

Healthy snacks for kids
Foto: Flickr / usdagov

Snacks for kids don’t have to be full of sugar and empty calories. There are plenty of options for us to feed them that shouldn’t really even be options. They ought to be what we’re feeding them in the first place, if we want them to grow up strong and free of diseases like diabetes and obesity. Children are a lot more flexible than we give them credit for, and can adapt to the foods we serve them, if given half a chance. So, let’s explore your options.

It’s a well-known fact that children that receive healthy foods as snacks for kids from the very start of the snack-consuming phase of their lives, are much more prone to choose an apple or carrots, over sugary sweets and chips when given the option. They haven’t been given these nutritious foods as options to non-nutritious foods all along, so they don’t even think about it. They’ve grown accustomed to eating foods that are good for them, and seldom think twice about what to reach for once the cupboard or refrigerator door is opened. Keeping on hand things like low-fat yogurts and cheeses along with a full supply of fruits and vegetables, instead of all the processed junk food snacks, is the best way to help them get started on the right path to nutrition early in life.

If getting it right from the start isn’t something you practiced with your children, it could take awhile to undo the damage you’ve created by allowing them to view unhealthy lifestyle choices as acceptable. Obviously, any attempts on your part to switch horses midstream are going to be met with resistance if they’re already in grade school. You can start by gradually introducing healthy snacks for kids and slowly eliminating the junk food from their diets. This is easier than you think. Simply stop buying the junk, and start buying the wholesome and nutritious foods. After all, you are the one that goes shopping and spends the money, and you are the adult trying to set the example. It’ll take some getting used to, but stand-by your decision. You could be saving their lives in the long run.

Children learn by example. This is to say that, what they see all around them in their everyday lives influences how they view the world and the choices they will make, now and in the future. The “do as I say, not as I do” approach will not work here. In other words, put your money where your mouth is if you want them to take you seriously after all the sermonizing about healthy snacks for kids. They will follow your lead if they see you practicing what you preach. Otherwise, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle, and it’s unlikely you’ll win. So, next time you’re out with the kids and faced with the salad bar versus the soft serve bar, you know what you have to do.

Keeping things like low-fat string cheese and low-sodium multigrain crackers, instead of salty chips and fatty dips, is a good place to start. Try keeping trays of cut fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator at their eye-level, so that it’s the first thing they see when opening the door. Retraining your kids won’t be as hard as you think. Just don’t give in.