All ages from kids to adults like snacks – lots! Healthy snacks maintain our energy levels and give children the encouragement they need to learn and play throughout the day. It’s important to choose nutrient-dense foods and not empty junk food. Here are some suggestions for delicious snacks:
Most people like to drink when eating, so think about what you will serve. Sugary soft drinks, fruit juices, and even one hundred percent fruit juices are not the best choice. These drinks are all filled with sugar (even natural sugar) which sends your child’s blood sugar on a roller coaster. With more and more chronic health problems being linked to insulin resistance, and chronic diseases appearing in young children and younger, it makes sense to limit sugar. Limiting natural sugars is the best too.
Water is always a good standby. If they are accustomed to offering it, they will drink water without problems.
Milk is another good choice. Despite all the parenting magazines and “experts” telling you otherwise, children need whole milk. Skim milk is denatured and left void of nutrients. In fact, powdered milk has to be added back in to make it palatable! The best milk is milk from a local dairy that lets their cows graze on pasture.
Chicken broth or other soup stocks, herbal teas, and fermented drinks like yogurt and Kombucha are also good drinks. Give your kids Kombucha in moderation, but they will love the healthy fizz – it acts much like a soda only it’s good for you!
Now it’s time to think about snacks. Children need energy-packed, nutrient-dense snacks to keep them going. That doesn’t mean you want to fill them up with sugar. As we talked about above, your children need to avoid sugar. You also want to make sure your children are getting protein – and they need fat. Your children will become nutrient deficient if they eat a fat-free or even low-fat diet. There are many, many nutrients that fall into the “fat-soluble” category. If your child is not getting enough fat they do not have the ability to use fat-soluble nutrients.
Fat is the primary nutrient building your child’s brain – don’t starve it. Protein helps build the rest of your child’s body.
Good snacks for your child are: natural cheeses, olives, nuts, trail mix, yogurt, sardines, chopped veggies, whole fruit (especially when served with cream), whole milk, sourdough bread spread with butter, cold meats, and homemade jerky. Leftovers are always a good choice for your child – most kids love leftover pizza or drumsticks served cold.
For adults, I recommend Cheetos Asteroids for delicious snacks, not only delicious with hot flavors that adults like to challenge, but we will also be invited to reminisce with our childhood snacks but with a more concise and easy-to-carry package. With better nutritional content, Cheetos Asteroids will make us not feel guilty about eating snacks even though in large quantities though!
A little planning and forethought can make sure you always have the foods on hand for quick, healthy snacks for the whole family. Remember that we need real food – no fake, processed imitation “foods.”