Finding the right meals and snacks for your child can be difficult. Not only are the majority of common snack items made for children filled with unhealthy fats and lots of sugar, but kids often prefer these snacks to healthier options.
This makes it incredibly tough for parents to find a balance between nutrition and taste. Moreover, if you have a picky eater on your hands, your job can be far more difficult.
If you are at a point where you are concerned that your child isn’t getting the nutrition that they need from the food they eat on a daily basis, you might need to break away from the more traditional options for food and start getting creative. Thankfully, getting creative with your child’s food doesn’t mean that you have to spend a ridiculous amount of time in the kitchen cooking and prepping meals and snacks.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your child is getting the nutrition they need regularly.
Start with the Snacks
When it comes to the food that your child eats, some of the most troublesome foods will fall into the “snacks” category. This is because many snack food companies that market their products to kids fill their foods with sugar and unnecessary calories. This is why you should start by evaluating your child’s snacking habits when you are concerned about their nutrition.
Start by looking at the labels of the foods you stock your pantry with. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t recognize most of the ingredients listed on the packaging, it probably isn’t the most nutritious thing for your child to be snacking on. You should also be wary of any ingredients on the label that your child might have an allergy towards as this can pose an obvious problem.
Generally speaking, it is better to prepare a fresh snack for your child instead of always going for pre-packaged and processed snacks. However, it isn’t always realistic to think that you can find time to do this. Instead, keep things simple by selecting snacks that have a short ingredient list. Look at the nutrition information on the label to ensure that there isn’t too much sugar or fat. You can also find snacks that have more protein, and other nutrients that are good for your child and that will keep them fuller longer without all the empty calories.
Make Healthy Swaps
If you are dealing with a picky eater who will only go for chicken nuggets and fries at mealtime, you might very well be concerned. However, it is important to remember that as your child grows, their taste will change. You should just do your best to encourage good habits slowly and by making healthy little swaps instead of overhauling their entire diet. You can easily whip up healthier chicken nuggets and other crowd-pleasers at home without the unnecessary calories and unhealthy fats.