Snack. How many times do you hear that word in a day? Seriously?! Every five seconds these kids ask for snacks! As a mom of three kids under seven, I get it. The temptation for convenience is real. But, what if what we are giving our kids is either keeping them healthy or compromising their health?
Do you want to save money and spend less time at the doctor’s office? What if you could avoid the flu or stomach bug or at the very least have far less severe reactions? Do you love flowers, but dread the Spring? Is your child suffering from constipation? I believe all of these things have one thing in common.
I grew up as an Army Brat. At the beginning my parents were not good cooks, and with a tight budget we grew up eating things that were cheap, fast, and easy. Hamburger and Tuna Helper, Froot Loops, Honey Nut Cheerios, Ramen, Kraft mac and cheese, Instant Spuds, hot dogs. My favorite snack was a slice of Kraft American Cheese (aka plastic cheese). I would fold it into tiny little squares as much as I possibly could and savor each little square, one by one.
What if food choices are at the root of all disease, illness, and ailments you experience?
Our gut health determines our immunity. Our immunity is determined by our pH. The American diet is very acidic. To put it simply, the more acidic our diet, the harder our bodies have to work to keep us alkaline. When our bodies have to work super hard, our immunity can be easily compromised.
How often are you or your kids sick? When they get sick, how long does it take for them to recover? I believe food is our answer.
Let’s start with snacks.
Here is a list of common snacks for kids and why you might want to think twice:
- Cereal – If you give your child cereal, how long does it take for them to ask for another snack? It doesn’t matter what brand it is, cereals are all the same: processed sugar. This includes those Puffs that I used to grab as a quick snack option for my babies.
- Fruit snacks – Again, sugar. There is no actual fruit in fruit snacks! Don’t be fooled by the front of the box. The ingredient label gives us what we need to know.
- Yogurt – Besides the hormones and GMOs found in non-organic yogurt, many yogurts have same sugar content in one serving as eating 2.5 donuts.
- Goldfish – Don’t be fooled by that smiling fish and huge buzzwords on the front of the box. One look at the ingredient label and there isn’t anything real about them. Side note: any label that says “enriched” means that our bodies can’t fully absorb it.
If you are reading this thinking, “Well, great. I’ve always given my kids these things. What am I supposed to give them now? I’m going to have mutiny on my hands.” I get it. My oldest had the hardest time with this switch. Not only is she a creature of habit, she craved these things, and change is hard. I didn’t make this entire switch in a day. I started with one small change and gradually made the change to eating real food.
Still not sure? We are busy. As moms, we are pulled in a thousand different directions. We want to make things easier for ourselves, not harder. Healthy does not have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. I am not a Pinterest mom. I don’t make creative bento box meals from scenes from the new Disney movie. If that’s your thing, I admire you, but that’s not me.
The benefit of eating real food: we spend less time being sick and less time (and money) at the pediatrician.
Here are some healthy, simple snacks my kids love and that you might want to try:
- Organic Brown Rice Cakes – I like the Lundberg Farms brand.
- Real fruit – Apples, grapes, blueberries, bananas. The South of the James Farmers Market is a great local option and a fun family field trip!
- Hummus – Move over Ranch dressing! Costco sells the Organic Kirkland brand in a single serving size. Yay for convenience! Made from chickpeas, we dip pretzels, crackers, cucumbers, and carrots in ours.
- Almonds or Cashews – If you don’t have to worry about nut allergies, nuts are a great, easy source of plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Our food choices determine our health. Let’s set our kids up with habits that will help them for the rest of their lives!
With so much conflicting information out there, “health” can seem like a daunting goal. Are you confused as to what is right? Jessi’s goal is to help you Live Your Best Life and break “health” down into an achievable goal through real food and scientific research to support you on your successful health journey. If you would like to continue this conversation, contact Jessi.