Simple Tricks for Healthy Snack Shopping for Your Kids
Here's how you can make reading labels at the supermarket an easier task.
CREATED WITH ARLA
Majority of preschools and even big schools have started promoting healthy eating during snack time. Active participation of parents in preparing and choosing healthier snack alternatives is encouraged.
There is no particular ingredient or super food that can give all the nutrients the body needs, but balance, variety, and moderation should be introduced as early as possible so your children won't grow up as picky eaters and instead gradually acquire a taste for different food. According to nutritionist and dietitian Francis Cyril H. de Guzman, RND, these are the three ingredients that you should probably lessen or avoid:
Sugar: The recommended sugar intake for kids 7 to 12 years old is between 5 to 6 teaspoons per day. Too much sugar can damage their teeth and can be at risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease later in life.
Salt: Reduced sodium intake is possible if children do not develop a preference for too much saltiness in the first place. Teach kids to avoid salty condiments if the food is already seasoned during the cooking process.
Fat and Trans Fat: An intake of 6 to 8 teaspoons per day of fat and oils is recommended for kids 7 to 12 years old. Dr. De Guzman suggests not reusing cooking oil as it produces free radicals that damage healthy cells causing ailments in the long run.
With these in mind, try applying these tips the next time you go for a supermarket run:
Keep an eye on food labels
Always read the nutrition facts label to understand how many calories are in the food and beverage. Avoid "empty calorie" food or junk food that provides no nutritional value.
Choose whole foods
Whole foods rather than refined ones are a more nutritious and filling alternative because they leave your child more energized throughout the day. Opt for sandwiches made with whole-wheat bread and different fillings each day, such as tuna, egg, cheese, and chicken bits. Add vegetables like lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and cucumber for added fiber and nutrients. Prepare the fillings in advance to save time during busy mornings.
Avoid sugary beverages
Snacking on sweet treats often is not beneficial in the long run as there is a tendency for children to become overweight if they get used to the sugar. Go for whole fruits that contain fiber and other nutrients instead of sweetened fruit juices.
Say no to canned and processed food
Let's be honest. There will be times when we just want to give in to our child's wishes by serving canned and processed food simply because these are easy to prepare. Try not to purchase these often, and remember that fresh is still best. Go for snacks made from fresh fruits and vegetables. They may be time-consuming to prepare but are definitely worth it.
Use dairy products made from more natural ingredients
Partner your child's snacks with Arla Milk Goodness Chocolate or Strawberry, which gives more milk, more taste, and naturally packed with nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamin B2. Arla milk comes from Arla farms that guarantees farm-to-table product traceability. Arla Milk Chocolate supports sustainable farming by adding UTZ certified cocoa.
Most flavored drinks in the market have high sugar content but are very low in nutrients. With Arla Milk Goodness Chocolate and Arla Milk Goodness Strawberry, you get more natural and nutritious drinks! They are made from real fresh cow's milk and only produced with five to six simple ingredients! Establish the habit of drinking milk until school-age so that your preschoolers will continue to get the vitamins their body needs while enjoying the flavors they've always loved.
Got any more tips and tricks about snack shopping? Share them here!
This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with Arla.