Article at a Glance
It is snack time and it may be tempting to just hand the kids a bag of crackers. But seeing how many calories and how little nutrition is in those crackers is enough to make any parent think twice.
Instead, serve your kids fruits and vegetables. They pack more water, vitamins, and fiber, and they have fewer calories and fat. When you compare them to other foods, it is a real eye opener! And if children fill up on unhealthy foods that are high in sugar, fat, carbohydrates and calories, there won’t be any room for the nutrients that their growing bodies need.
Eating fruits and vegetables can be an acquired taste. Teaching children how to enjoy healthy choices now will help them develop good habits and preferences for when they are older.
Snack Comparison Chart
Each of these foods have about 100 calories when served in the below quantities.
|1 1/4 cup
|2 1/4 cups
|Chocolate Chip Cookies
|Ice Cream (not premium)
|1 ounce (1 mini)
It may seem like a good idea to let your kids drink their fruit instead of eating it. But there are some real downsides. Many “fruit juices” on the market have very little fruit and a lot of added sugar. While 100 percent fruit juices are better, they are missing out on all the fiber you get from the skin and flesh of the fruit. Fiber is what keeps you full and slows down the digestion process.
You have probably noticed the trend with your children. They fill up on juice during meals and leave the rest of their food untouched. The juice then metabolizes quickly and they are hungry shortly afterward. Eating whole fruit will help them feel full for longer.
When kids are thirsty, the best thing you can give to them is water. It has zero calories and zero fat no matter how much you drink. And it contains everything kids need to hydrate their bodies without all the added sugar. When you compare water to some of the alternatives, the choice is clear. (Pardon the pun!)
Drink Comparison Chart
Each of these beverages have about 100 calories when served in the below quantities.
|100% Orange Juice
|100% Apple Juice
|1 1/8 cup