Pre-packaged snack foods are a convenient solution when you are pressed for time and the kids are hungry. However, many of them are high in sugar, salt and fat and lack fiber and important nutrients. Here are a few tips on how to help your child replace junk food with healthy snacks that provide the nutrients he needs and keep him feeling full between meals.
Introducing a new food into the snack time menu may take time. Kids may not be very enthusiastic about trying a new food that has a taste and texture they are unfamiliar with. You will likely need to introduce the food multiple times before your child decides to experience it. If your child sees you trying new food and enjoying it, he is more likely to try it. Also, you may want to provide a choice of two new healthy snacks to try. Sometimes, the refusal to eat anything new is just your child asserting himself.
For example, if you are trying alternatives to ice cream, offer a choice between a smoothie made with bananas and Greek yogurt or a homemade frozen fruit pop.
Making healthy food fun can help make it more appealing. Start a garden and ask your kids to choose the veggie plants. At harvest time, your kids will be excited to see what the veggies that they worked hard to grow and harvest taste like. Give kids input into planning snack choices for the week and get them involved in helping to make the snacks.
Search online for healthy versions of a snack time favorite. There are many creative recipes online that are good substitutes for pre-packaged snacks. Such recipes replace sugar with applesauce, bananas or other healthy alternatives but look the same as a pre-packaged version. This is helpful when you have a picky eater who refuses to try anything new and you need a way to gradually transition him to healthier foods. Pinterest can be a great resource.
For more nutrition tips: