So much of what we feed our kids is full of chemicals and overprocessed, nutrient depleted food stuff. Junk food abounds. Providing your family with nutritious, acceptable and SAFE food is HARD to do! Almost everyday inside The GEM, we hear parents wishing they had better options that their kids would want to eat.
Fast foods are pumped full of chemicals (even Chick-fil-A contains food colorings and an “anti-foaming agent” in their fries that is also used in plastics). Packaged snacks are made with hydrogenated oils (Oreos), rendered beef fat (Chef Boyardee). Food coloring is linked to ADHD and depression. Hidden sugars are everywhere.
These things are acidic, linked to cancer, allergies and make their little brains foggy. You can find better commitment to healthier foods just by knowing what some of these things do to you. I know you can!
Here’s where to start:
1. Try to tell your kids WHY unhealthy choices are bad. Make the reasons relevant to them. If you tell your son that he will play better basketball if he doesn’t choose to eat the electric blue cupcakes before a game, he will listen. Tell your pre-teen girl that eating lots more green leafy vegetables will make her skin glow and eliminate breakouts, you have her ear. Tell your 5 year old that super heros eat grilled organic chicken and broccoli and you atleast have a chance.
2. Have easy to grab options ALWAYS available. This IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A PARENT. If you have a bowl of washed strawberries and grapes in the fridge, they will eat them. Have a plate of veggies, dip, cheese cubes and sliced apples out when they come home from school. Fresh made organic popcorn is always a crowd pleaser. They will eat it!
3. Healthy eaters don’t happen overnight. KEEP IT UP. It takes 10 times of tasting for a palate to change. Plus, they will learn to expect healthy options on their plate every meal and know they will have to try atleast 2 bites. I promise it will happen.
21 Good, Healthy Snacks for Kids
- Organic popcorn made in a Whirley Pop with coconut oil and sea salt. DEE-LISH.
- Sliced cucumbers marinated in water, 2 tablespoons of Braggs apple cider vinegar, a touch of agave. SOOO good.
- Fresh pico, salsa and bean dip. Nachos with pinto beans and cheese are a much better option than Cheetos! Always have these in your fridge.
- Cubes of yummy, premium cheddar cheese. (Not the Kraft crap)
- Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, dehydrated fruits. Pistachios are fun to eat.
- Sliced apples with organic peanut butter, if you don’t have nut allergies. Cutie oranges.
- Slice bananas and freeze them. AWESOME. Grapes too.
- Keep frozen berries (1c), bananas (1), almond milk (1c), pomegranate juice (1/2c) and raw protein powder on hand. Make a Sparkle Berry smoothie. They will love you!
- Turkey (Applegate Farms makes a great one) with a little mustard wrapped around a sesame breadstick
- Mini pizzas made with whole grain english muffins, fresh marinara (no sugar, all natural), mozzerella
- Fresh lemonade will quench any thirst. 1/2c lemon juice, 1/3c (or less) agave, 4 c water. Make a pitcher and keep it on hand.
- Lentil Soup with homemade croutons made with coconut and olive oil. Dinner or snack.
- Bowl of oatmeal with maple syrup. Healthy granola that doesn’t list sugar as its first 3 ingredients.
- Surprise your kids with Breakfast for after school snack: organic pastured eggs (Vital Farms is my fave), Applegate Farms chicken maple sausage. An amazing after school treat.
- Sami’s Cinnamon Chips will disappear at carpool time. Kids LOVE these gluten free, high fiber, low sugar (but don’t tell them that) chips. Available at The GEM.
- Whole wheat pasta already made. Even better is Tinkyada brand gluten free pasta. Find a pomodoro sauce that is clean and healthy with nothing but tomatoes, garlic, spices. NOTHING ELSE. A touch of olive oil, maybe.
- Make your own pita chips–sprinkle whole grain pita chips with parmesan cheese and broil until golden brown. Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies–in a pinch–are okay.
- Steam frozen edamame and add sea salt
- Roasted chickpeas. So fun!
- Make organic oven fries. YUM!
- Make your own cookies and brownies as a special special treat. Just use organic flours, whole butters and real chocolates. A little goodness goes a long way.