4 May 2018
Busy parents everywhere worry about what their children consume when they are not on their watch. Peers at school and in the playground may influence what children eat. And sometimes parents too, give in to their children’s whining and they end up just giving them what they demand. But, most parents know that it’s very important to lay a solid foundation or instill healthy lifestyle habits at an early age. That healthy foundation includes introducing healthy alternatives to their snacks, which most of the times have little to no nutritional value. Nature’s Choice has created a list of alternatives for your little ones to enjoy.
Potato Chips: As delicious as potato crisps can be, there is little to no nutritional value in them. They are high in fat and kilojoules, are linked to weight gain more than processed meats and sweetened drinks are. Child obesity can raise the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other diseases linked to weight gain.
Popcorn: Kids love popcorn! What is there not to love? Popcorn is not just some snack we enjoy in cinemas or on a lazy day at home, there some great health benefits that this snack offers. Popcorn is a great source of good fibre, antioxidants, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B complex. Popcorn helps regulate blood sugar, lowers cholesterol levels and improve the digestive process. A lovely and just as delicious alternative to potato crisps!
Chocolate: Chocolate (dark chocolate in particular) once in while is okay as it contains antioxidants, but too much of it can have really lousy results. Chocolate is low in vitamins, high in kilojoules, sugar and low on minerals, therefore promoting weight gain which can lead to a number of diseases.
Carob Coated Rice Cakes: Rice cakes are low in kilojoules and are fat-free. These have an added benefit of this amazing superfood, carob. Carob has immune-boosting properties helping your little ones fight any potential illnesses. They promote bowel movement, ultimately cleansing the digestive system.
French Fries: French fries are very high in fat, particularly, trans fats and saturated fats, and added salt. This can pose a number of health risks if they are consumed regularly. They are also very high in carbohydrates, meaning they must be consumed in moderation as too much can lead to obesity and as you child gets older, this can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Nachos: Nature’s Choice Nachos are baked, not fried. They are made from lime-soaked mielies which are then ground using volcanic stone. They are a better alternative to French fries because they are gluten-free, are high in fibre and contain trans fats. You can get the little ones to enjoy them by serving them with cold or hot salsa, melted cheese, avo & dhanya (coriander). They come in an array of flavours like ‘Spicy Tomato’ and ‘Lightly Salted’, so experimenting with variety will be lots of fun for everyone.
Ice-Cream: Who does not love ice-cream? It is a lovely treat that the whole family deserves every once in while, not all the time. Too much ice-cream will have negative implications on your health, let alone your little ones. Ice-cream contains too much sugar, saturated fats, takes longer to digest and if your little one is lactose-intolerant then this treat may cause more upset than delight.
Farmhouse Ice-Cream: Making your own ice-cream using your own healthier ingredients is so much better than shop-bought ice-cream. You can use coconut milk or cream or you could even make a vegan nana ice-cream. Have a look at our recipes and have fun times in the kitchen with your little ones.
Sweets: Sweets-induced teeth damage is real, especially for little ones who still have their milk-teeth. Sweets stick to their teeth and cause cavities over time. Too much sugar can also cause hyperactivity and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Dried Fruit: Dried fruits contain condensed nutrients because their water is extracted from them. Dried fruit can be found in sugar-coated forms as well, if your children are reluctant to trying regular dried fruit. An added benefit is that dried fruit has a longer shelf-life meaning you have more chances to convince your children that it’s better than sweets.
Some of these alternatives may require some more effort in their preparation, like the homemade banana ice-cream, but it will be all worth it for your little ones will be consuming healthy snacks and enjoying them at that.