In this age of processed foods, it’s so tempting to pick up a box of packaged snacks for kids. But there really is something about real food that is so much healthier. And once you get in the swing of it, it’s really easy to have healthy foods for the kids and I think you will find that they will end up preferring the natural foods over processed ones. Plus, these foods are so much healthier for kids’ teeth too!
Here’s a list of some popular foods and then some healthier alternatives:
- Instead of sweetened fruit drinks — milk is so much better. Serve milk instead — it has calcium which prevents tooth decay, especially for growing children.
- Instead of white bread which has sugar added — serve whole wheat bread which is less starchy and has whole grains.
- Instead of fruit snacks which are full of additives and sugar — serve fresh fruit. Buy fruit and then cut it up and store it in small containers in the fridge. When your kids are hungry, just get one out and it’s ready to serve.
- Instead of chips with all o the salt and additives — buy veggies. Cut the veggies into chip-like pieces and serve them with homemade dip made with sour cream, which has calcium. Your kids will get the vitamins from the veggies and some calcium from the sour cream. You can do the same thing with veggies that you do with the fruit. Cut the veggies up as soon as you get home and store them in small tupperware containers.
- Instead of candy after a meal — serve your kids, or yourself cheese cubes. Cheese has all of the benefits of calcium, plus it neutralizes harmful acid created by the plaque in your mouth. And you can buy cheese in little 100-calorie packs and put a couple in your purse so you can hand them out on-the-go!
- Instead of poptarts for breakfast — try giving your kids yogurt. Yogurt is high in calcium and has the sweet taste that kids love. A study published in the Journal of Oral Dentistry found that kids who eat at least four servings of dairy per week were less likely to get cavities than those who didn’t.
- Instead of french fries — serve your child pretzels or popcorn which has much less fat and is healthier.
- Instead of canned fruit in syrup — serve fresh fruit. Have your kids help pick out the fruit at your grocery store. If they are in on buying it, they will want to eat it too.
- Be sure to read the labels on juices — many have high-fructose corn syrup as their first ingredient. Serve fresh-squeezed juice.
- Instead of Kool-Aid — help your kids get used to plain water. Water is good for everyone and tap water also has flouride added to it which helps lessen cavities.
You can also make healthy snacks more attractive to kids with creative packaging. Cut fruit and vegetables into fun shapes. Serve them in little muffin pans. There are so many ways to get creative!!
Are there any healthy snacks you love making for your kids? Share them with us in the comments!!
I received products from Johnson & Johnson as part of my participation in the LISTERINE® Kids Cavity-Free School Year Program. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.Click here to see more of the discussion.
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