Kids need healthy snacks

Kids need healthy snacks

Marisa Crespo, BSc

Marisa Crespo, our thoughtful writer and editor at Nutrition4 Kids, is always trying to engage readers with her energetic articles. She has her bachelor's degree in Nutrition and is interested in the psychology of eating as well as plant-based lifestyles. On her free time she enjoys creative writing, exploring parks and cities, and having a […]

Kids need more than Cracker, Chips, and Cookies   

Crackers, chips, cookies, cupcakes, cereal, candy, etc. often have few needed nutrients and low in fiber, though they are loaded with calories. This can cause your child to be familiar with another C word: constipation  Today, let's make a pact to change the 3C's of snacking for healthier alternatives. Here's how. 

Mid-day Snacks

Most kids want (and need) a quick snack between meals to keep their energy up. Their sugar levels fall, their energy flags, and a quick pick-me-up often gets them going again. But the right choice matters. We don't want to give them more calories than they are going to use in the next several hours or else the calories add extra pounds. There are healthy ways to snack. 

Stop the Cycle now!

You may have had a child begging for a sugary, fatty, 3Cs snack at the grocery store before. These junk foods are not the best options for our kids, but you also want to give them what makes them happy (and stop the crying and whining). So you give in and the snack cakes, sugary cereals, crunchy crackers find their way into the carts. They beg until that's the only snack they'll accept. This can become a vicious habit of unhealthy snacking.

You can give them the water and fluids they need AFTER they snack or have their meal. They'll still be thirsty then, but if they fill up on fluids first, they'll have little room left to eat.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Try leaving your children at home with your partner while you grocery shop alone. Not only will your shopping likely be quicker, but you will be able to make healthier food choices for your family in peace. 

Another option is to start using online grocery delivery services and have your preselected groceries dropped off at your door. Both options reduce the likelihood that the 3Cs make it into your cabinets and into the mouths of your children. If the foods are not at home, your children may still ask for them, but will have to settle for a healthier choice if they are truly hungry.  

In Sight, In the Mouth 

You can now begin to replace them with healthier C foods like cantaloupe, carrots, and cauliflower (along with other fruits, veggies, and healthy snacks ). Aim to keep a fresh fruit basket on display and in reach for your kids to easily grab healthy snacks throughout the day. Also, organize your refrigerator and cabinets so that the healthy food options are always in sight and easy to grab. Keep the less healthy options higher up or hidden behind other foods (if you have to have them at all). Your family is less likely to grab junk food if they have to dig to get to it!  

Bottom Line: If you're buying the groceries, you don't have to give in to carb-cravings. Make snacking healthier for your family, buy the healthy groceries and keep them so they are easy to see and grab.

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