Eating healthier can be hard enough for us adults, but when our kids want those fun and colorful packaged foods that are low in nutrition and high in calories, it can be hard to say no to them (and keep our own fingers out of the box once it arrives home). In our home, my husband and I make a conscious effort to keep the snacks we buy as natural and nutrient-packed as possible. Of course there are always times when we allow our sons to have “special" (mom-speak for junky) treats, but we try to limit those to truly special occasions, and not let them become a daily habit.
At our kids' school, many well intending parents bring in packaged treats and sweets to share with their child's classmates on birthdays and other special occasions. Much of what is shared are the kinds of foods that we choose not to give our children (sugary, high-cal snack foods with other additives and preservatives). While celebratory foods and sweets are OK in moderation, it seems like almost every day is someone else's birthday, which means these treats are anything but occasional. So I am on a quest to encourage parents to bring in healthier alternatives that the kids will still enjoy.
I've created a list of 17 foods that are fun for kids, yet quick and easy for busy parents and teachers to pick up or assemble.
Karina Downie is the wife of SparkPeople founder and CEO Chris "SparkGuy" Downie. Like her husband, she is passionate about helping others reach their goals, while also leading by example when it comes to teaching their two young sons about the importance of healthy living. You can learn more about Chris and Karina's at-home cooking habits in "The SparkPeople Cookbook," available now.
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