Hi there, healthy families!
With 3 of my own children (soon to be 4) I have learned a thing or two about how snack choices can affect their energy throughout the day. We already covered a great list of super healthy snack ideas in Part 1. Check it out here.
In this follow up blog post, I'll offer valuable insights on why choosing healthy snacks over processed ones can make a world of difference in your little one's life. We all want our kids to thrive, right? Well, it starts with what they munch on to get them through the day!
Why Healthy Snacks?
As parents, we're constantly striving to give our children every advantage in life, and that includes helping their brains grow. Did you know that the snacks you choose can impact brain development? Yep, that's right. So how can we choose healthy snacks that our kids like? By offering them regularly!
We have a very small basket of processe snacks in our pantry, and we always offer fruits and vegetables to our kids first, prior to offering convenience snacks like Turkey sticks, granola bears, etc. One thing we always keep on hand are nuts and seeds. These pack a simple, yet powerful protein punch.
Processed snacks are often loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, can have a detrimental effect on cognitive development. They can contain additives and icky things like seed oils. These additives have even been linked to attention and behavior problems in children. Seed oils are linked to inflammation in the gut. Ultimately this can be responsible for putting a roadblock in the way of their learning and focus.
On the other hand, healthy snacks like fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains provide essential nutrients that support brain growth. Nutrient-rich snacks can enhance memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills, giving your little ones the cognitive boost they need for success in school and beyond.
Balancing Blood Sugar for Happy Cubs
Something to consider when choosing healthy snacks over unhealthy options is the impact on blood sugar levels. Processed snacks often contain refined sugars and simple carbohydrates that can lead to rapid spikes and crashes in blood glucose.
These sugar roller coasters can leave your kids feeling irritable, tired, and unable to concentrate. Imagine trying to learn or play when your energy is constantly yo-yoing! It's not easy. As someone who struggles with leveling my own blood glucose, I can tell you it doesn't feel great.
Opting for healthy snacks helps regulate blood sugar more effectively. Foods high in fiber, like whole grains and fruits, provide a steady source of energy that can keep your little cubs alert, energized, and in a better mood throughout the day.
Building Strong Immunity Shields
We know how impossible it is for kids to have a strong immune system. In this day and age, we're all more aware than ever of the importance of a robust immune system. Because of that, we know germs serve an important role in boosting our system. But the snacks we choose (and supplements we give) also play a pivotal role in supporting our children's immunity.
Processed snacks, with their excess sugars and unhealthy fats, can weaken the immune system over time. They create an environment in the body that's friendly to harmful bacteria and viruses, making kids more susceptible to illness. Yikes! Stock up with healthy food, even in their lunchboxes.
Is there even such thing as healthy processed snacks? Yes! My favorites are Happy Wolf Bars and Skout Organic. Use code Nontoxicmamabear for 20% off! I also have a list of healthier versions of processed snacks available on my Amazon Storefront.
Snacks even have the power to help your child's immune system! Healthy snacks along with nutritional support such as daily vitamins and supplements can provide the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help strengthen your child's immune system. Fruits and vegetables, in particular, are packed with immune-boosting goodness. By offering your little ones these natural defenses, you're helping them build strong shields against illness, and teaching them how to snack healthy.
Check out my list of 5 healthy and nutritious snack ideas below.
Homemade Ranch Recipe (vegan, gluten, dairy, soy and nut free).
1½ cup vegan mayo
1/4-1/2 cup non-dairy milk unsweetened
1½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste
Your kids will love this simple and easy vegan recipe! We use this for pizza, carrot sticks, salads, and everything else in between!
Progress not Perfection
Remember, it's not about perfection but progress. EVERY small step towards healthier snacking habits can make a big difference in your child's life and overall eating habits as they get older.
Let's embark on this nourishing journey together, one snack at a time, for the brighter, healthier future of our little ones. I hope Part 2 was helpful! Have a favorite recipe or snack idea to share?! Drop it below so other families can get ideas.