Children can be fussy eaters, so it can be tough knowing what to feed them in order to encourage healthy eating habits and a strong nutritional intake. There are plenty of healthy snacks for kids which make tasty treats, in addition to being good for them – it’s simply a case of knowing how to prepare and serve them to make them appealing to youngsters. Here are some ideas as to how you can keep your child’s diet healthy, without them craving sweets and crisps instead.
Space out your snacks
Kids live for those afternoon treats, but more often than not they result in sugary snacks, crisps and fizzy drinks which do nothing for their health and offer no nutritional value. The first rule of thumb should be to limit your kids snacks to just two a day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. You can keep these healthy, too, simply by being smart about how you serve them. For example, keep a big bar of chocolate in the cupboard and cut it up into regular squares or chunks, so that the kids get a sweet treat without eating an entire bar – not only is it good for their health but it’s cost effective as well.
Keep an eye on your snacks as well as theirs, so that you all eat more nutritionally beneficial meals instead of empty calories. And if they’re still claiming hunger pangs after you think they’ve had enough, give them a drink – sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Water or skimmed milk make healthier alternatives to fizzy drinks and sugar-laden squash.
Keep an eye on the treats
If you’re busy, quick food fixes are easy to rely on – however, that can mean that your child ends up eating junk food, if you’re opting for ready meals and fatty foods such as nuggets and chips. Look for healthier alternatives that kids will love and you’ll feel happier about them eating. Look for foods which count towards their five a day quota, such as tomato sauces on pasta, soups and vegetable sticks with houmous.
Kids love a bit of creativity, so why not look for fun names to call meals to encourage them to eat them (and also request healthier meals in the future!). For example, spaghetti and meatballs can be shoelaces and footballs; carrot sticks and broccoli could be fairy wands and little trees. You can also get them to help make and prepare meals, so that they have fun and feel more inclined to eat healthy dishes. The moment your kids start to feel more involved in the process, they’ll be more tempted to taste their creation and it will encourage healthy habits. You can also create five a day charts, so that they can keep count of their fruit and veg intake – if they meet their goal, they get a treat such as an extra bedtime story.
Replace junk food with healthy alternatives
If there’s no sweet treats and crisps in the house, you and your kids will both stop craving them. Clear out the nuggets, chips and pizzas from the freezer and replace with vegetables or fruit. You can look for healthy snacks to offer kids too, such as popcorn, vegetable crudités and dip, fruit salads and yoghurt. You’ll be surprised how quickly kids forget about those sugar cravings once they have something healthier to snack on – nutritious drinks also count towards, so why not make tasty smoothies for snack time or offer a milk-based drink before bedtime for a calcium boost.
*Our content is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnosis of individual problems or circumstances, nor should it be implied that we are a substitute for professional medical advice. Users / readers are always advised to consult their Healthcare Professional prior to starting any new remedy, therapy or treatment. Your Wellness Group accepts no liability in the event you, a user of n-gage and a reader of this article, suffers a loss as a result of reliance upon or inappropriate application of the information.