How to Make Snack Time a Healthier and Happier Affair
Today’s Guest Post is From Giselle from Your Kefir Source, so please welcome here today as she shares with us on making snack time healthy and happy.
We all know that one of the most difficult things in the world is persuading kids that healthy stuff can be delicious too—it’s almost as though the juvenile palate can’t tolerate anything it knows to have a modicum of genuine nutrition. But it’s actually not entirely impossible to reconcile health and tastiness for kids: the trick is to incorporate reasonable amounts of healthy things they love into their snack times.
Take sweets, for example. Anything sweet-tasting is usually a hit with kids, so why not get something that’s both sweet and healthy to provide to them as a snack? For instance, instead of plying the kids with hard candies, given them dried fruit.
There are so many dried fruit options nowadays that you no longer have to stick to raisins: from dried apricots to dried mangoes, there are all sorts of dried fruit snacks that beat processed options in terms of nutrition and fiber. A cup or half-cup of dried fruit definitely makes for a better alternative than a handful of hard candies. Mixing different dried fruit—with different colours—also makes snack time more interesting, since kids are strongly affected by visual appeal.
Chocolate is another popular option in the sweets range—and while a lot of the current factory-made options are less-than-healthy, chocolate itself can be a good supplement to your child’s diet. The darker varieties, especially, are rich in flavanols and antioxidants.
You may want to see if your kids can be persuaded to eat dark instead of milk chocolate. Most of the (good) available varieties are around 70% cacao, but you can bring it down to 60% if your kids want something sweeter. Remember, though, that it’s all about moderation: always cut up their chocolate into small blocks and don’t let them wolf down half a bar in a single sitting. Put the chocolate blocks with some other healthy snack options on a plate, like graham crackers and fruit slices.
What about when your kids start craving ice cream so hard they bug and beg you for it at snack time? Give them what they want, by all means! But make your own ice cream so you know exactly what goes into it and you can be sure that what you’re giving your children isn’t just a chilled concoction of artificial ingredients. Even better, involve your kids in the ice-cream-making process, so that they can feel more excited about the end product.
A good idea would be to try yoghurt ice cream mixtures. For something even more unusual (but still delicious!), try making kefir ice cream. Kefir is a yeasty, protein- and vitamin-packed yoghurt-like drink that’s currently making the rounds of health clubs and bars—and it’s definitely good for children too. I have a blueberry kefir ice cream recipe here that you can try, although you can certainly choose a different flavour if your kids would prefer another fruit.
All of this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making healthy but delicious foods your kids will look forward to eating. It’s important to try new things every now and then too, in case your kids are the type who gets tired of the same old foods over and over. Be daring, involve the kids in the process (asking them to vote on their favourite options gets them excited too!), and look after your children’s health without running counter to their palates.