We’re not exactly born with an innate understanding of how to eat healthy. And since humans are omnivorous and we happen to exist at the top of the food chain, there is no shortage of options when it comes to food. Add to that the fact that food manufacturing companies have found ways to chemically alter food so that it tastes amazing but is barely food by the time they’re done, and you can see why eating healthy can be much more difficult to practice than it is to preach. So how can you ensure that the snacks you’re feeding your family are not only delicious, but also nutritious? Here are a few guidelines you may want to follow.
For starters, it’s important to steer clear of processed foods as much as possible. Unfortunately, this can be hard to accomplish for a number of reasons. First of all, additives like sugar, sodium, and fat make most processed snack foods taste incredible. And they’re certainly easy to grab on the go, making them an easy option for busy families. Of course, some of these snack foods are also pretty cheap, especially when compared to fresh, organic alternatives. So families operating on a budget might lean towards processed foods.
But for the most part, pre-packaged, processed snack foods lack any real nutritional value, in addition to filling your body with a ton of harmful substances you don’t need (or only need in much smaller quantities). And you’ve probably noticed that munching on only a single portion (say 14 chips or 2 small cookies) is not enough to satisfy you even in the short term – and when you do eat more, you’re hungry again in short order.
The alternative, then, is fresh produce, or at least options that lack the extensive list of chemical ingredients and additives. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent option when it comes to healthy snacking, providing the vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients that will give you an immediate boost. And when you pair them with healthy proteins like nuts, lean meat, or low-fat cheese products from Sargento Foods Inc., you’ll find that you get full faster and remain satisfied longer, often with a much lower calorie count attached.
So what’s holding you back? The difficulty for most parents when it comes to providing healthy snacks for the family lies in the prep work involved. But if you want to make healthy eating a priority in your household, there are ways to save time and accomplish your goals. The best option is to set aside time each week for prep work. You can spend a couple of hours washing, peeling, and slicing to put together easy-to-grab snack bags for the week. Or you could pick up some popsicle molds (available at Amazon) and fill them with smoothies for a fun frozen treat that kids can grab after school instead of cookies or juice.
Making family-friendly snacks that adhere to your healthy agenda doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming, or even expensive. You just have to find ways to rid your home of the processed foods that are all too easy to get addicted to and then replace them with low-calorie, nutritious alternatives that will appeal to the whole family.