Are you maintaining your body for its best performance? I hope so. We will be talking about the ultimate healthy snack for your big hungry kids. When I say big kids, I don’t necessarily mean children exclusively. In fact, I consider myself a big kid as well. Why shouldn’t I? I find it highly enjoyable to be a big kid at times.
We will discuss about healthy snacks and the alternative to sugar and those other chemically-laden snacks which are so readily available on the shelves of the supermarket. What can we do? What can you do for your family, and how can we live and eat a little better in our life? The answer is quite simple: By choosing the correct snacks. When I say snacks, I mean the type of food that you can just grab in between meals, just to tide you over until the next meal. A snack can be anything and we find that there are so many available today and that’s what we will be talking about. We are very excited about the different types because you can literally eat healthy all day, and not worry about what you’re consuming. The question is, “Do you have some great snacks that you’d like to share, which you know are healthy, and are not laden with chemicals or sugar?” I hope so, because so many of them are available out there.
So why is it important to talk about snacks? Believe it or not, the reason why a lot of people are overweight and have health issues is because they constantly eat stuff which they are not supposed to. It’s the incorrect types of food that they put into their mouths and the reason why we do this is because we are bored, we need some sort of additional nutrition, some energy level boosts, and many other reasons as well. The main reason why we pick this stuff is because they are easily there, in front of us.
What happens then, if you replace these things with other health alternatives? Would it do you better? Absolutely! And if you are part of a family with kids, this is most important because kids are always saying that they’re hungry and would constantly ask for something to eat or something to snack on before lunch or a meal. It’s important since kids have big appetites because they are growing up, not to mention are highly energetic. However, they are not particular with what they put in their mouths. They would just eat when they’re hungry and move on. Feed them with healthy alternatives to keep them fit and in shape.
There’s a great way to get around the subject of craving for something sweet, chemically-laden, or your unhealthy choices. We have to think smart, think of great combinations of healthy food, not just plain and boring presentations. It’s all about eating a great variety or taste. After all, since God gave us taste for a reason, we might as well use them and fulfil them to the best of our ability. In a healthy manner, that is.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because I too have children and they are constantly asking for things to eat, for additional snacks, at anytime during the day. It’s good to be able to feed them other great alternatives rather than just going straight for the packaged foods on the cupboard. We can give them some great healthy alternatives, and there are some of them that you can do as well.
If you live a busy life like us, there’s absolutely no excuse on why you can’t do them as well. We all get busy, and we all get waylaid, and we may forget to do a bit of shopping from time to time, getting us stuck with nothing on the cupboard. We have to get clever, put our imaginations on overdrive, and make something up from scratch. Kids usually like to have something fulfilling. Big kids do too. So instead of reaching for the chocolate bar or the chips to tide you over until the next meal, these are some great healthy alternatives instead: FRUITS and VEGETABLES. That’s right. They are the obvious answers, and they make great and healthy snacks. They work very well in my household. The kids love them because they are presented in creative and enticing ways.
Some of the best snacks we have at home include snow peas, green string beans, carrots, and celery. There’s a little trick that you have to make sure of before you offer them. That is, they have to be FRESH and CRISPY. If they are not, they will have a bitter taste, and will turn them off as snack foods, even before they have begun their service. So, before you hand them over to your children, or your spouse perhaps, make sure they are fresh, crispy, and tasty. What we do is we put snow peas, green string beans, carrots, and celery in a lunchbox. With the carrots, make sure to choose the young ones because they are sweet-tasting and not bitter, unlike the old ones. We slice them into little pieces and place them together in the lunch box. What we end up having is a variety of vegetable chips. They make a great snack, with a crunch when we bite into them. Our kids love it, and they always have because we always present it to them in a fun and loving manner. You chop it up well, keep the vegetables young and fresh, and when you present it to the children, sometimes as a little game, they eat it up without any problems at all. They really enjoy them, and these snacks are also easier to place on the fridge or on their lunchboxes when they go to school.
RAW (FINGER) VEGETABLES
These are only some of the basic snacks. There are still so much more. For instance, have you ever tried eating a raw asparagus stem? It is really nice and crispy. Especially if it’s fresh and young, it’s really quite sweet. The other thing with raw foods is if you chop them really small, you have to keep them away from open air so they don’t go all brown-looking and horrible. They are really tasty. Another one we use is sweet potato. You will find that you will really enjoy the taste, once you’ve chopped it up into little pieces. The younger ones are better tasting, of course. They are low GI foods and are really good for power-packed energy. They will fill you up and will last for quite a while. We also eat raw broccoli stem. The top may be a bit bitter, but the stem is really tasty, nice, and crisp. To tell you the truth, I could even eat a whole stem in a matter of minutes because it’s really chewy and tastes great. Not to mention it is nutrient-packed, which is great for the body.
Now I’ve probably said a lot about the vegetables. Some fruits, on the other hand, which are good, are apples, oranges, kiwi fruit, blueberries, and a whole lot more. However, there are other different alternatives to these which you can try as well.
THE ULTIMATE HEALTHY SNACK
Next is the secret ultimate healthy snack for the big kids. They are the Banana Smoothie and the Mango Smoothie. They are sweet, really filling, and are delicious. Guess what? They have no sugar as well! That’s the best thing about them. They are really healthy, filling, great, and there’s no sugar! Everybody loves them! So, here’s what we add to our Mango Smoothie.
A tablespoon of honey
Approximately three drops of vanilla extract
One whole egg
Half a banana (optional)
You mix them together in a blender, and it is absolutely scrumptious. We try to do this every week if we can because it is absolutely delicious. Everyone really loves it. The reason why it’s the ultimate snack food for kids is because it fills them up immediately, gives them great energy, and they don’t ask for snacks time and again. You just have to be careful not to give it too close to meal time because they won’t eat their meals anymore. It would make a great afternoon snack.
So, what are the other great snacks that we would like to talk about? Well, one of my favourites is popcorn. Just plain old popcorn, without any additives. It’s quite cheap and keeps the kids occupied for quite some time. They will make a great snack for your children. The good thing about it is it will be ready in just two to three minutes. It is great for kids and for you. There are no additives, no worries about salt and sugar, and no oils or fats in them as well.
AVOCADO and CRACKERS
Another great snack that we’d love to share is avocado and crackers. Not everyone may like plain avocado, though. However, if you get some rice crackers and put some avocado on it, similar to guacamole, you lay on the avocado, nice and soft, then you put a slice of tomato on it, some cracked pepper, and then a little bit of salt, that, my friend, is one great snack. It is great for morning or afternoon snack, and even for school. Even the big kids will love them as well. They are really filling, and I do enjoy them as well. It really does wonders.
Now another great snack that I find, especially for the lunch box, is a banana. It is full of potassium and is a great source of energy, especially for your children. They are a really great snack food. That’s what you would want for your kids. You would want them to have a burst of healthy energy so they can go run off and really enjoy being a child. That’s the good thing about snacks. You don’t want to give them a full meal, just a light snack in-between, so they will have enough energy to play and run around and do stuff that kids usually do.
Another snack that could be added to the lunchbox is fresh cheese. I don’t mean the one wrapped up in plastic, I meant the one gained from real milk. That is full of proteins and it gives children a great energy boost and is very filling as well. I’m saying a couple of cheese cubes will do, along perhaps with a couple of crackers, and probably some grapes and nuts surrounding them as well. You’ll find that they will really, truly, enjoy this snack.
Now I mentioned nuts, however, you have to be careful with them because some children are allergic to them. But you know your own child. If you do have friends over, you might want to find out first whether or not they are allergic to nuts before serving it to them. There are many different types of nuts. We personally love almonds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and many others as well. Don’t forget the seed variety too such as sunflower seeds and others which you can mix together in order to create a healthy nut mix.
Now, do you see what’s happening? We’re talking about snacks here and everything we’ve mentioned so far is really great for you. It is not full of fat, it is not laden with chemicals or sugars, and yet we’ve spelt out probably 20 or 30 healthy snacks which are great for you and your children. They really help tide you over when you are craving or a bit hungry for food in between meals. The ultimate great snacks are there and if you make great combinations of them, your children will really appreciate it and will ask for more of them.
So why don’t you do an experiment? Instead of feeding your child some packaged foods, feed them these types of snacks instead. Create a combination or mix of these fruits or vegetables, or these healthy snacks, and see what their reactions are, especially if you eat these with them. You could sit down with them and talk, have a conversation with them about their day, and watch their faces light up while eating these healthy snacks, especially if the vegetables that you used in the snacks are fresh, crispy, and not bendy. Now I’m not saying give them a whole bowlful of these, I only meant a couple or so sticks of carrots, for example, or little pieces of celery sticks perhaps, or a snow pea here and there. Introduce these things slowly and watch them as they will eventually love these types of snacks in their diet every day. But only as a snack, not as a meal.
Raw vegetables will really do them wonders. If you look at fruits, you can create a great combination or mix of them and make a fruit salad, perhaps, as an afternoon snack or for their lunchbox. You just have to watch out when you chop up fruits because they tend to oxidize fairly quickly, turning them brown. You could spread a little bit of lemon juice on top of them to seal them off so they don’t go brown almost immediately, or keep them in sealed containers. Best yet, give it to them whole. Allow the children to bite into a fresh apple, or peel their own banana. Watermelon is another great fruit which is fantastic for hot days. It gives them a burst of energy because it has natural sugars and it is very filling as well. You will have to supplement these later though, because you do burn through a watermelon pretty quickly. But, as you can see, this group of snacks could just fill up your whole cupboard and fridge! You could do this every single day and stand out as a bit of a hero for trying different foods such as strawberries, or blueberries, or raspberries. They’re all really wonderful fruits and they can do wonders to your body.