My Favorite Wholesome Snack Hacks plus Tips from a Children's Nutritionist - Pretty Real

My Favorite Wholesome Snack Hacks plus Tips from a Children's Nutritionist

9:02 PM

Recently I went to a lecture by a children’s nutritionist and it was a game changer.  I get overwhelmed with choices (or lack thereof) when trying to give my kiddos healthy snacks. To be honest, it can be hard to get past packaged granola bars and animal crackers. But attending this lecture made my goal of giving my kids healthy snacks and lunches more approachable. The entire system is built on mixing and matching high fiber starches, heart healthy proteins, heart healthy fats, and portable fruits and veggies (see the awesome cheat chart after the jump).  

For snacks, I learned about a slew of healthy options to replace typical go-tos. For instance instead of potato chips, try popcorn or instead of pudding, try yogurt cups.  Along those lines, I replace sugary drinks with water or a juice drink. What I love about Capri Sun Organic is it’s a certified USDA Organic beverage made with 66% fruit juice. It contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and no added sugar.  Each serving contains ½ cup of fruit juice which is the equivalent of 1 serving of fruit, according to US Dietary guidelines. It tastes yummy and is affordable. It can be a challenge to balance better-for-you options with taste, but since Capri Sun Organic is sweetened only with real fruit juice, it's one guilt-free option to have in my snack arsenal.  Today I’m sharing my favorite snack hack recipes along with a 10 tips to make snacking easier.   

via Healthy Diets Inc. Used with permission. 

Snack Hack #1:
Swap sugary drinks/soda for water or a juice drink. If your kids are like mine they like variety. While I offer water as much as I can, having a wholesome non-water option to offer is really convenient. Capri Sun Organic is only $4.29 for a 10 pack and is available in a variety of flavors.

  Snack Hack #2 (a Recipe):
Better for You Trail Mix
Instead of buying store bought trail mix which contains a lot of sugar (and that my kids just fish the candy out of), make your own. It’s quick and easy using store bought products.

1 c whole grain cereal
½ c peanuts (or nut of choice)
1 1/2 c of a combination of dried fruit (raisins, banana chips, cranberries, etc).
*For a slightly more indulgent version, swap raisins with yogurt covered raisins or use honey roasted peanuts instead of plain.

Make sure to stop and take a picture of your cute helper.

Snack Hack #3
Better-For-You lunch Munchable:
Whole wheat crackers
String Cheese
Slice of lean ‘natural’ Deli Meat (you could also use beef jerky or turkey pepperoni).
Portable fruit (berries, grapes, orange slices, etc).

10 Tips to Make Wholesome Snacking Easier:
(Many of these tips I learned at the lecture. I highly recommend attending something like this or making an appointment with a nutritionist if you struggle with healthy eating for your kiddos. Sometimes they take insurance).

1. You choose what and when and they choose how much.  This is one approach the nutritionist discussed.  I love that it takes some of the pressure off at meal time. 

2. Involve them in the process- make it a game and offer points for tasting and swallowing.  Make a list and cross off  foods the family has tried. Discuss how it tasted without using words like "gross" or "yuck." 

3. Discuss the benefits and nutrients with your kids. I love Choo Choo Soul's "Vegetables give you superpowers." 

4. Have a list of healthy options on your fridge.

5. Break it down so you can throw together a healthy lunch box effortlessly. (Hint: use the chart I shared as a starting point).

6. Offer Portable fruits and veggies that don’t take much prep. You’ll be much more likely to offer cherry tomatoes you can grab and rinse than you will a pineapple that you have to peel and chop.

7. Keep trying. We’ve all seen it happen where our kid loved something then suddenly wanted nothing to do with it but the reverse happens too. So keep offering.

8. Don’t be afraid to sneak veggies in! Use pureed vegetables in smoothies, breads, and muffins. Some wonder where to draw the line with lying to our kids to get them to eat well.  The nutritionist suggested offering the veggie in "sneak-free" form but there's no harm in simultaneously sneaking it in. Also, make sure they see you eating the same foods (again, in their real form).

9. When grocery shopping with kids, allow them to pick a fruit as a treat.  By letting them choose, it becomes special. I’m always surprised at how much joy this brings the girls!

10. Not all packaged snacks are created equal.  I’m never going to be the mom who doesn’t buy packaged drinks and snacks. I just don’t have time to make everything from scratch. But it’s so great to be able to find a variety of natural or organic drinks and snacks at the ‘regular’ grocery store.

What are some other ways to make wholesome snacking easier? This is something that I can always improve in.  I’d love to hear your suggestions! 
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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  1. Awesome! This is such a great snack idea. And I love that they're offering organic Capri Sun!

    1. me too! I'm all over affordable organic options!