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    Connect Your Kids to Healthy Snacks

    By Susan M. Keenan     

    Today, so many different types of deliciously tempting treats and snacks exist that it is virtually impossible to keep our kids away from them. Even if you avoid bringing them home, these snacks are available almost everywhere your child frequents. From school parties to a friend’s birthday party to scout camp to the movie theater to award ceremonies, chips, cookies, and candy prevail.

    Overly high in salt, sugar, and food additives, today’s processed snack foods are certainly not healthy even if they do taste good. Just exactly how can someone encourage her children to eat more healthy snacks and fewer unhealthy snacks? While this encouragement should begin during a child’s early years, there are ways to encourage the inclusion of healthier snacks in the daily eating routine.

    • Start off by purchasing small, snack size plastic bags with the zipper closure. The portions of healthy treats that can be placed in them are small enough to be tempting without being large enough to be daunting. Plus, the zipper closure prevents the food from accidentally falling out and creating a mess that no child wants to clean up.

    • Make healthy snacks easily accessible for your children. No hungry child wants to wash, peel, or cut fresh fruit or vegetables. Purchase ready to eat vegetables and fruits.

    • Keep the fruits and vegetables at eye level for your children so that this is the first thing that they see when they open the refrigerator.

    • Incorporate raw fruits and vegetables into family meals, especially meals that are on the go. If the children see mom and dad readily eating healthy treats, they are more likely to do so. Eating healthy food no longer appears to be a means of preventing them from enjoying “junk food,” but rather, it appears to be a normal part of the entire family’s eating routine.

    • Jazz it up. Use sharp cookie cutters or paring knives to carve shapes onto the vegetables and fruits for a novel change that brings new interest with it.

    • Have some fun with it. Take a week, assign each day a letter or two from the alphabet, and serve fruits and vegetables that begin with that letter.

    • Serve it anyway. If your child insists that she does not want raw fruits and vegetables at a party, put out a small assortment of creative vegetable treats.

    Use some imagination and come up with some of your own ideas to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your child’s diet. Ask your child for ideas and help. After all, how many of us taste a little bit here and a little bit there as we prepare and set up food?

    Written by Susan M. KeenanRate this article:

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