Think those Lunchables are good for your child? Guess again! They're loaded with hydrogenated oils, nitrites, and artificial colors and flavors. Not to mention that over 35% of the calories comes from the amount of sugar contained in them (31 grams of sugar!)...gross!
So what are some healthy alternatives to these unhealthy foods? Below is a list of just a handful of quick and easy healthy snack ideas:
- Peanut butter and apples: Be sure that the peanut butter is made from peanuts only (no added oils, salt or sugar).
- Fruit: Apples and bananas are two of the most popular fruits found in kids' lunches today, but you may also send them to school with plums, grapes, apricots, peaches, etc.
- Dried fruit: SOME dried fruit in their lunch bag is OK. Just make sure that there has not been any sugar or sulfites added.
- Cheese: Mozzarella cheese sticks and those Babybell brand cheeses are a great source of protein for your child. Because of the way that the cheeses are packaged, they keep pretty well until lunchtime—even if you aren't able to keep them cold.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is another excellent source of protein and probiotics (which are good for your digestive tract). Instead of buying individually-sized yogurt cups, get a large container of plain 2% fat Greek yogurt, put some in a reusable container and add some chopped fresh fruit in it. It will have less sugar that those “fruit on the bottom” yogurts that are out there. In a pinch, however, those prepackaged yogurt sticks are a decent alternative; just make sure they are all-natural and do not have any artificial ingredients added to them. They freeze well, too!
- Nuts: If your child does not have any food allergies, raw nuts—such as almonds and walnuts—are super healthy and delicious!
These are but a few ideas that will get you started. For more healthy snack ideas, just Google “healthy snacks for kids” and you will find an abundance of quick and easy healthy snacks that your children are sure to enjoy!