In all honesty, finding healthy snacks my kids like isn’t all that difficult. I started their healthy eating habits when they were young, and I did my best not to stray the course. I won’t lie; it wasn’t always easy. It certainly would have been less hassle to have handed them a sugary juice box and a microwaved corn dog and walked away. Once in awhile is fine, but everyday? No way! Not for my kids.
It’s not surprising that statistics show children are not consuming enough fruits and vegetables each day. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables for a 2,000-calorie diet. Unfortunately, less than 50 percent of children eat these recommended amounts.
Healthy snacking and eating habits start when you are young. In our house, there is always a bowl of fresh seasonal fruit on the counter. My children are happy to eat the staples like apples, oranges and bananas, as well as pears, peaches, grapefruit and apricots. I always offer them new fruits to try and they adore figs, papaya, mango, pineapple, berries and melons. In the fall, we consume mass quantities of antioxidant-rich pomegranates. The kids’ lunch boxes always contains a fresh fruit.
We also use vegetables for snacking, too. Carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, celery and bite-sized tomatoes are super kid-friendly.
For an afternoon snack, I love to pair a fresh fruit or vegetable with a healthy protein. My kids love nuts: pistachios, cashews and peanuts, to name a few. Sugar-free nut butters are also fabulous options. Another great source of protein is cheese: from mozzarella to cheddar to Swiss, you will always find a brick of cheese in our refrigerator.
Instead of fatty potato chips, we snack on pretzels, whole-grain crackers and crispy seaweed. Don’t get me wrong, my kids prefer chips, but it’s not eaten on a daily basis!
Everyday for school, my kidlets take their water bottles with them. Their teachers are very supportive and let them keep their water bottles on their desk. Juice and sodas are reserved for special occasions only.
My kids are big fans of vegetable juice, from carrot to green blends. So, when I offered them Kraft‘s Capri Sun Super V Juice, they could care less that it contained sweet potato or carrot juice. They didn’t care that it is a good source of fiber, containing 10% of the daily recommended amounts. Quite frankly, they couldn’t taste the vegetables, just another great tasting juice from the pouch they recognize and love.
While the kids attended a week of scout camp this summer, I had to pack three sack-dinners everyday for them. They took their water bottles to keep hydrated, but they enjoyed Super V Capri Sun with their meals. They were sad when we finished the last pouch!
BlogHer wants to share the love of snacking with a sweepstakes! You could win a Grand Prize of a $1,000 Visa Gift Card and $500 (runner up) gift cards. To enter, leave a comment below by sharing your secrets to teaching your kids healthy snacking habits.
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Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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This sweepstakes runs from 8/16/2012-9/16/2012.
Disclosure: As part of the BlogHer Community, I received a stipend for this post. The opinions and stories I wrote are all true and my own.