Nutrition for Kids
Getting kids to eat healthy, satisfying snacks and meals throughout the day can be difficult with all of the pre-made, sugar-laden and fat-filled snacks available and marketed at parents and kids. However healthy eating doesn’t have to be non-existent, it just needs a little foresight and planning from the parents, nannies, and babysitters. To make sure that your kids are getting the nutrients they need try implementing these switches to their diets:
1. Keep healthy snacks on hand
One of the reasons that kids gravitate towards foods like chips and cookies is that they’re usually readily available and no prep work is involved. Always have a bowl of grapes or baby carrots available in the fridge so that they can quickly grab some when they get hungry. Paired with healthy dips like peanut butter or hummus, they’ll have a satisfying snack packed with a nutrient punch while still fulfilling a sweet or salty craving.
2. Skip the sugary sodas
Instead of giving kids sodas, which are full of empty calories and devoid of any nutritional value, let them drink water or lower-calorie flavored teas. If your kids are craving a sweet beverage use the individual servings of sugar-free, flavored sweeteners to give them a juice-like drink sans the calories or sugar.
3. Pack their school lunches
Even though there have been recent strides in providing more healthy cafeteria lunch fare, the food there is still notoriously unhealthy. Pack a sack lunch for your kids to make sure that they’re getting the nutrition they need. You can make lunch more fun by making fun-shaped sandwiches with cookie cutters and trying delicious new twists on old standby favorites.
4. Don’t let them skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for kids. Serve them breakfasts with equal parts protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates to start their day off on the right foot. Instead of pouring a bowl of cereal try making eggs in a basket or a fruit smoothie. Getting them into a routine of regularly eating a healthy breakfast while they’re young is a great habit to make.
5. Switch up dessert
When it comes time for dessert skip the ice cream and make homemade desserts, like fruit popsicles made out of frozen fruits or Greek yogurt and fresh berries. Frozen fruits or fresh berries will satisfy a sweet craving, and the thick, creamy texture of Greek yogurt will still taste indulgent. For an extra creamy and delicious treat try mixing Greek yogurt with a spoonful of peanut butter. It’s exactly the type of dessert everyone needs – satisfying, decadent tasting, and yet still healthy!
Eating nutritious snacks and meals doesn’t have to be boring for your kids. Make meal time fun by constantly trying new fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins and include the kids when you’re preparing them. By showing them early on that being healthy is still delicious and fun they’ll learn habits that can stick with them for a lifetime.
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of nanny agency. You can reach her at saradawkins61ATgmail.com.