You’ve seen the kind of food advertisements on television aimed at children. Promotions for sugary cereals, low-priced fast food meals, and pizza snacks dominate the airwaves. Even if your children don’t watch television, it’s difficult to escape junk food’s influence over all forms of media.
The effect is clear and worrying: junk food has become a normal staple of many children’s diets just because it’s being promoted everywhere you turn. A recent study showed that heart disease, spurred on by an improper diet, can start in children at an early age. So it’s key that you impress upon your children the necessity for proper nutrition, especially when they’re snacking.
Tree nuts are a great snack to consider introducing into your children’s diet. Not only are they tasty, most tree nuts are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that are great for a balanced diet. There’s an increasing consensus that nuts among other natural foods can be a great way to reduce cholesterol levels. Try bringing walnuts, for instance, to the kitchen. Buy the walnuts unshelled; you can make the process of eating them a fun activity for your kids by allowing them to crack the walnuts to get at the nutritious contents inside.
Yogurt is a great substitute for kids with a sweet tooth. Most yogurts are rich in essential vitamins and taste just as sweet as their less healthy alternatives. Certain types of yogurt, like traditional Greek-style yogurt, are particularly high in protein and can be sweetened with a little honey to make it more appetizing. You could also turn the healthy snack into an informative and fun activity: plan a day where you and your children make your own yogurt. Homemade yogurt not only tastes better than the shop –bought brands—you can also monitor exactly what goes into the snack.
Watch out for juices
While fruits provide great nutrition for children, be wary of fruit juices sold in supermarkets. Many juices are marketed as having high vitamin C and other important nutrients, but fail to disclose that the same juices often have just as much sugar as do sodas. If you purchase fruit juice, try adding some water to each serving to make up for the high sugar content. Or you can make your own juices at home! When in doubt, fruits and vegetables are always a reliable alternative Fruits and vegetables are classics of healthy snacking for a reason. Fruits have the sweetness of the most sugary, unhealthy snacks with none of their drawbacks. And if you can get your children to eat vegetables—I suggest roasting them for the maximum flavor—you’ll be establishing smart eating habits for a healthy future. Select the green and leafier items when choosing vegetables; most of the greenest veggies have the highest concentration of nutrients out of any natural food. For instance, broccoli has more potassium than a banana, and over 100% of an average person’s daily dose of vitamin C.
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Author Bio: This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money-saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com
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