Unhealthy Kids' SnacksPosted on Dec 3rd 2009 12:50PM by Amy Paturel
Sure those pretzels and goldfish crackers are kid favorites, but they're not 100 percent whole wheat. When your kids crave a crunchy snack, serve them small bags of whole grain cereal. Whole grains are loaded with fiber and help prevent the tummy troubles that often plague school children. Add dried fruit and a sprinkling of nuts for an extra nutrient boost. Read on for more snack shockers and healthy alternatives.
Some yogurt and yogurt drinks have more sugar than a candy bar. There are healthy varieties of light and non-fat yogurt that are rich in calcium and provide Vitamin D. Read the labels carefully and watch out for high fructose corn syrup.
Packaged peanut butter crackers may be handy, but most of these little goodies are loaded with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and trans fats. As an alternative, give your kids half a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread instead. This winning snack is loaded with a combination of heart-healthy fats, potassium and fiber.
Check the labels to make sure the juice you're buying is real juice. But even if the drink is 100 percent fruit juice, there's still an enormous amount of sugar. A better way to serve juice is by mixing it with equal parts of water.
Give Up Grahams
We were all brought up to think graham crackers were healthy. But they're made mostly of enriched flour, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and honey. Try whole grain Fig Newtons instead. Kids get whole grain wheat and something sweet with a little fiber and fruit.
Most of pre-packaged fruit cups feature flavored fruit "pieces," not whole fruit. Instead, opt for the real thing and make it fun. Kids love eating frozen grapes, berries and bananas.
Is Cheddar Better?
Pre-cut cheddar cheese and standard butter crackers may seem like a good snack, but they're loaded with saturated fats -- often trans fats. For a more wholesome snack, let your kids much on snack size string cheese and whole wheat crackers.
Dressed Up Veggies
Sure the veggies are chock full of fiber and important micronutrients, but more often than not, the accompanying dressing is loaded with fat. Make sure your kids dip into low-fat dressings, zesty salsas and fiber-rich dips like hummus.