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Niche Topics (Pregnancy and Kids) is all about practical parenting advice and parenting skills to help you deal with common parenting challenges from toddlerhood to teen years. You’ll find tons of healthy food ideas and easy-to-make kids meals, fun activity ideas and creative crafts projects that kids love to do and play!

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3 Healthy Snacks that Kids Should Eat



By Martha Sanders

All parents want healthy kids. One way to keep children as healthy as possible is to  watch their diet since we are primarily responsible for the foods that they eat. Hence, by incorporating healthy snacks into your kids' diet, you help them grow up into healthy and active individuals.

Unfortunately, most supermarket aisles today are packed with attention-grabbing nibbles that may contain astonishingly high levels of fats, salt and sugar. So the next time your kids ask for candies and crisps, consider these healthy snack options instead.


1. One of the best healthy snacks that kids should eat often is fruits. Although fruit is naturally high in sugar, it is not high in the type of sugar that is necessarily bad for them.

Some children will like certain types of fruits over another, but it is important that you include a variety of different fruits in their diet on a regular basis.

For instance, you could encourage small kids to eat a different type of fruit by introducing a new fruit every week. But make sure to choose fruits that are low in glycemic index (less than 55) since they won’t cause blood sugar to spike and crash, and that means kids are less likely to become cranky and irritable. Good choices include cantaloupe, kiwis, apples, apricots and pears.

If your little ones are not keen on fruits, get them excited by cutting fruits into cute shapes with cookie cutters. Or, offer eye-catchingly yummy fruit kabobs using fresh or frozen strawberries, bananas, melons and grapes.

Dried fruits such as raisins and dates are a great way to wean children off sugar-laden candy bars, but remember they are also a concentrated source of natural sugars, and therefore will add extra calories to your child's diet.

Also, keep in mind that not all store-bought fruit juices are healthy. Some only contain 10 percent or less of pure fruit juice, and have heaps of sugar (fructose corn syrup) and additives in them. You want to avoid those that are labeled “drink,” “punch,” “cocktail,” “beverage” and “ade”.



2. Whole grains are also something that kids should consume regularly but these days, very few kids get the proper types of grains into their diet. Children as well as adults eat far too much refined grains and not enough whole grains such as brown rice, barley, quinoa and oatmeal.

When you buy children snacks, look for the word 'whole grain' or 'whole wheat' listed first on the ingredient label. This way, you can be sure that you are giving your kids a nutritious snack and not something that has been refined to the point where it is detrimental to their health.

You can find whole grains in snacks like whole wheat English muffins, crackers (Triscuit Crackers by Kraft foods), quinoa snack bars, and even popcorn (preferably home-popped).



3. Nuts as well as legumes also make great healthy kids snacks. If your children have no nut allergy issues, you can experiment with different types of nuts by incorporating them into trail mix. Try mixing and matching some of these  ingredients – peanuts, pecans, almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, craisins  – to create a wholesome quick snack that all kids will enjoy.

Legumes may be a little difficult to work with especially if you have super picky eaters but when prepared properly, legumes are really delicious. Try this easy-to-whip-up oven-roasted edamame recipe, or serve creamy black bean date milk instead of chocolate milk.



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