Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Food Challenge: A Better Snack Choice

Are you up for the food challenge?  Perhaps you're not ready to go all in, but maybe you'll start small and choose a few things to change.  Whatever route you take, whether big or small, will move you one step closer to teaching your children to make healthy food choices as well as improving the health of your entire family.  Once you get the ball rolling, it's easy to keep it going!

Today we are going to tackle the ever-important topic of snacks (at least to the kids!).  I'll list some of our favorite snacks and give you a few ideas how to spice up snack time around your house.  I would like to preface this post by saying I am not a die-hard real food follower.  Our entire diet is not organic or GMO free, but I would say close to 80 to 90% of it is.  This has been a slow transition over many years, but I am happy to say we have made it work!  I understand all organic is not made equal and there may be better sources out there, but finding food to work with our peanut and tree nut free requirements can limit our choices at times.  All of the suggestions I have for you fall into the nut-free category!

Alright, let's get to it.  Kids love snacks.  I'm pretty sure they love snacks more than meals!  I have some kiddos who eat like birds at mealtime, so I want to make sure their snacks have nutritious benefits and some substance.  Food manufacturers would like us to believe we should be feeding our kids Goldfish crackers by the handful and packets of sugary crap for lack of a better term.  I bought into this way of eating for awhile.  I used to stock up on all sorts of these foods, but no more!  It may be tough at first, but in time your kids will adapt.  It's junk....filled with dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives, and offers very little nutrition and a pile of empty calories.  It's time for some new options!  Next time it is your child's turn to bring snack to school, think about choosing a healthy option!  All of my suggestions are free of food dye and are GMO-free and/or organic.  I find all of these items at Target unless otherwise noted.

Pre-packaged Ideas:

  • Cascadian Farm Chewy Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars
  • KIND Dark Chocolate Chunk or oats and honey Granola Bars
  • The Daily Crave Veggie Straws of Chips (Marshall's or TJ Maxx)
  • Annie's Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
  • Annie's Homegrown Organic Graham Crackers
  • Annie's Homegrown Organic Cheddar or Graham Bunnies
Dairy Ideas:
  • Horizon (Hy-Vee) or Stoneyfield Farm Squeeze Yogurt
  • Horizon String Cheese
  • Applegate Farms Cheese Slices (Hy-Vee)
  • Stoneyfield Farm Greek or Regular Yogurt
  • Organic Lifeway Kefir
Alternative Candy Options:  (Hy-vee, Marshall's, or TJ Maxx)
  • Yum Earth Organics Lollipops
  • Yum Earth Organics Sour Beans
  • Yum Earth Organics Gummy Bears or Worms
Snack Ideas:
  • Fresh fruit (organic if possible)
  • Fresh veggies
    • Ants on a log (celery, Sunbutter, and raisins)
    • Veggies and Annie's Homegrown Organic Cowgirl Ranch Dressing
  • Air popped organic popcorn (Hy-Vee) topped with organic unsalted butter paired with organic apples
  • Yogurt parfaits (Stoneyfield Farm vanilla yogurt topped with Cascadian Farm Oats and Honey granola; you can also add fresh berries in layers, too!
  • Muir Glen or Archer Farms organic salsa and organic blue corn or white corn chips (Simply Balanced found at Target)

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