Saturday, February 6, 2010

Healthy Snacking

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I've been trying to provide healthy snacks for the kids when they get home from school. Stephen is taking thyroid medicine because of a sluggish thyroid. He has no energy and is very lethargic. Emily has major food allergies and will stop breathing with the wrong foods. Nathan, obviously, has a slew of health issues which includes kidney problems.

If I let them choose all three of them will pick unhealthy choices for snacks. Usually what they will choose are things that are heavy in carbohydrates and sugar. So I've taken charge of snack time the past week and tried to come up with some healthy, but appealing choices.

One thing I've noticed with my children is that it's all about the presentation. If I present the snack in a way that is appealing to the eye, they get very excited. I think it makes them feel like they are getting something special and also that they are important. I know it sounds silly, but it is a way for me to show them my love.

I'm always trying to get them to drink lots of water. I don't buy soft drinks or expensive juices. They get a glass of juice in the morning and usually the boys will have a glass of milk during the day. The rest of the time they must drink water. They will drink it but they are not crazy about it.

However, one simple little thing that I've done that seems to work well is adding ice cubes and a lemon slice!

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When they get home from school I've had the table set for their snack and everything laid out for them. Stephen has eaten more fruits and vegetable this week than he has in a long time!

We've had things like celery and soynut butter (no peanut butter here because of the allergies).

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Homemade salsa and guacamole and whole grain tortilla chips.

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Sliced pears drizzled with lime juice.

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Some other choices are cheese and crackers, fruit smoothies, homemade granola bars, celery and carrot sticks with ranch dressing, and homemade hot pockets.

A side benefit is because they are getting a healthier choice, it stays with them longer. So I don't have to make dinner so early which again, cuts back on the snacking after dinner.