November 16th, 2016
HEALTHIER 'JUNK FOOD'
Looking for quick and easy snack ideas that are healthier and your kids will totally go for? We have a few suggestions on some healthier 'junk food' that's perfect for their next after-school snack.
Kids more often than not, go straight for the junk-food pantry when they get home from school, because they're 'starving', it's yummy food and it's convenient. If you want them to choose something somewhat healthier than the regular pantry junk-food staples, here are some great substitutes you'll want to add to your grocery list. The bonus; not only will your child be eating healthier, you don't have to do any prepping and you can easily find these items at your local grocery store.
If you haven't already read our post on healthy snack ideas click here for fun snack inspirations that require a tiny bit more prepping.
TRY ADDING SOME OF THESE DELICIOUS FOODS TO YOUR PANTRY
Dried Fruit - When fruit is dehydrated it becomes more concentrated in nutrients. Some even have twice the amount of antioxidant concentration than they had when they were fresh.
Dried mangoes, apricots, raisins and cranberries are the most common, that our kids will dig into. But if you want to try something a bit different, try this bag of mixed fruit that has dried strawberries, pineapple and coconuts from Healthy and Happy. Or the orchard fruit blend bag with dried apples, pears and plums from President's Choice.
Yogurt covered raisins are a big hit with our kids too. You can usually find them in the bulk food section of your grocery store. When choosing any dried fruit bag, make sure to read the ingredients and watch for added sugar or corn syrup. The H & H bag has a little added sugar (not much) and the PC bag has none.
Nuts are always great - High in iron and fibre, they should be included as often as possible in your child's diet. Did you know that PC dark chocolate covered almonds contain 30% iron and their sea salt & pepper kettle cooked peanuts contain 24% fibre?! A great way to make peanuts (or any nuts) a little more interesting to your kids', is to get ones that are flavoured. I bet they're a big hit! Our favourite flavours are salt & vinegar and sea salt & black pepper peanuts from PC. Other great nuts your kid will love are cashews, macadamias, pistachios and corn nuts.
Cookies & Other Sweets - These dark chocolate and banana breakfast biscuits from President's Choice are great! They contain 20% fibre and 15% iron. Talk about healthy cookies! And the kids LOVE 'em! Bran or oatmeal muffins and cookies are definitely a healthier choice than their sugary counterparts. And applesauce is always a great sweet snack that you can feel good about your kid eating. We buy the unsweetened organic one from PC.
Yogurt - Get a great probiotic yogurt and add Chia seeds to it. We had to do a small amount of convincing for our kids to go for it, but once we told them how big and strong it would make them, they quickly came around. They now have Chia seeds every time they have yogurt. Trust me, it's very worth-while getting your kids to eat Chia seeds. Chia is a great source of Omega-3 & 6 and is high is fibre, protein, calcium and magnesium.
Chia is tasteless. The only thing your kids will have to get used to is the texture.
For an even healthier alternative to flavoured yogurt (which contains more sugar), choose plain yogurt and sweeten with honey. Our kids love yogurt and often have it for dessert. As parents, that makes my husband and I very happy!
Baked Crackers/Chips and Popcorn - Popcorn is a terrific healthy snack. Did you know that popcorn has more IRON than spinach?! Click here for our post on homemade popcorn. Baked chips and crackers are obviously much healthier alternatives than regular chips. But they don't have to be a less-than-adequate substitute either. There are some really fun varieties out there. Here are a few of our favourites.
Substitute that bag of chips for baked pita crisps instead. We love all the different varieties from Sensible Portions. There's garlic & chive, black olive & feta, chia, chia & quinoa, and sea salt. Our favourite flavour is chia & quinoa; dipped in hummus or baba ganoush (or even on it's own), YUM! Calbee Snapea Crisps are also really good (we get ours from Shopper's Drug Mart). The kids really like them, however they won't go for every flavour. They prefer the original low-salt flavoured ones. Or try Terra's Sweets & Beets chips (found at Loblaws). Multigrain nachos or blue/yellow corn nachos are always a great alternative. And veggie chips are a big hit at our house too. The veggie chips we buy are also from Sensible Portions. Check out all of the great healthy snacks they make at sensibleportions.com