Today’s post is brought to you by Motts for Tots.
Growing up my sisters and I went to school with carrots and raisin as snacks in our lunch, while the other kids had chips or Twinkies. At the time we thought it was the worst, but now I know that our parents were really on to something. I grew up into an adult who doesn’t like overly sweet desserts, and I rarely add salt to any food. For me, low sugar and low sodium foods are just normal life but for most it’s a big difference to the foods they are used to. Following in my parents example, I try to make sure that my own kids are eating healthy and developing good habit for their future.
Here are a few of my smart snacking tips for kids:
1. Read labels. There are lots of everyday foods which contain sugar or salt that you would think of. Be sure to read the labels of your everyday foods, such as milk and pasta, before you buy them. Also, make note of the serving size don’t just zoom straight for at the amount of sugar. 6 grams in 2 tablespoons is much worse than 6 grams in 1/2 cup!
2. Keep portion control in mind. Little kids have little stomachs, so serving up an adult size plate of food to kids will only result in wasted food. Serve your kids smaller portions of healthy snacks in kid size bowls every few hours instead.
4. Drink smart. Skip the soda or sweet drinks. Offer your kids water, or 100% juice drinks. Or, better yet, offer them Motts for Tots juice. It is a combination of purified water and Mott’s 100% apple juice, so it has 40% less sugar than 100% juice with the essential vitamins A, C, & E.
5. Get your kids involved. Giving kids the change to create their own snacks will make them more inclined to enjoy their treats. Serve chopped fruit in bowls and let them make their own fruit salad. You can also set up a granola bar and let the kids make their own mix using raisins, nuts, toasted oats, dried fruits, or whole grain cereal.
6. Make desserts with fruit. Instead of serving sugary frozen treats, make a fruit smoothie and pour it into an ice pop mold. Or serve baked apples or pears with some cinnamon. There are lots of ways to make fruit a special treat!
7. Set an example. We all know kids learn by example, and there is no better example than their parents. If you tell your kids to eat healthy snacks, you should do the same! Don’t even buy chips or cookies, it will just be tempting for you to sneak a snack when the kids aren’t looking.
8. Don’t ban all treats. A cookie every now and then, or a snack size bag of candies isn’t the worst. But the sure fire way to make them want those treat that are less than great for them is to say they can’t have them! Just be sure to use moderation when handing out unhealthy treats.
9. Look beyond sugar content in sweet fruits. Some fruits have a very high sugar content, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer more. A medium size banana has approximately 14 grams of sugar, but it is also high in Vitamin B-6 and Potassium. A medium pear has approximately 16 grams of sugar, but is has loads of fiber and Vitamin C. Unlike most treats that are sweetened with processed sugar, fruits have lots of great nutritional value too.
10. Have a well stocked cabinet. Be sure to always have healthy snacks on hand. It’s easy to hand your kids a pack of fruit snacks or a bag of chips when you’re busy. But if you have prepared snacks ready for them to enjoy, it will avoid the over consumption of unhealthy snacks. I get toddler snack cups with lids and fill them with fruits, banana chips, pretzels, granola, etc. so that if I am unable to prepare the kids a snack when they’re hungry, they can just grab their own and I know it’s okay.
As I mentioned above, we like to keep Motts for Tots on hand for the kids to enjoy. It is available in 5 different flavors: Apple, Grape, Fruit Punch, White Grape and Mixed Berry. You can get these flavors in big bottles, or in juice boxes. I like to toss the juice box into our playdate bag when we leave the house to make sure that I have a healthy drink on hand that I know my kids will enjoy. Be sure to follow Motts on Facebook and Twitter to be notified of upcoming news and promotions!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Motts for Tots via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.