Healthy Kids, Happy You!

It can be a challenge feeding your children foods they enjoy while ensuring sure they get great quality nutrition too. With so much food info out there, and so often conflicting, it’s all too easy to feel confused and overwhelmed as to what really is best. Confusion likely leads to taking a shot in the dark and hoping you’re doing the right thing for your child.

I always aim to keep things simple, and only do what science shows is the answer.  In this case, it shows that reducing sugar by eating low GI foods is the best approach to healthy eating for kids and their parents! The positive effects of doing so include supporting your kids immune system and health in general, avoiding any false energy highs and lows, enhancing focus and concentration, and keeping them fueled and feeling satisfied for longer.

Here are some ideas and tips for easy food swaps for both snacks and lunchboxes that your kids will love!

Go Natural – look for naturally sweetened products rather than those sweetened with sugar or sugar substitutes. Nakd and Paleo brands make healthy snack bars. They’re unprocessed and made with just dried fruits and nuts. Kids love the taste and there are no ‘nasty’ ingredients.

Switch to Lower GI – Ditch higher GI versions of white bread, rice and pasta and instead switch to wholemeal or rye bread, wholemeal pita bread and tortilla wraps. Choose brown or basmati rice or the high protein alternative quinoa. Swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes or squash, which despite the name are lower GI and deliver a greater depth of nutrition. Make a cauliflower mash; it’s just as tasty but a healthier version of a traditional potato mash.

Protein Power – Add protein to every meal or snack. Protein will give your kids energy, keeping their bodies fueled for a whole day of activities. It also helps keep hunger at bay, so they feel fuller for longer. Add meat, fish, cheese, nuts & seeds, sugar free yoghurt or eggs to each meal.

Prepare & Precook – Cook extra and use leftovers from last night’s dinner in packed lunches; that way you’ll have more control over the quality of what your kids are eating. Use left over chicken or salmon in a wrap, make a snack pot of quinoa salad topped with ham, or a slice of homemade frittata.

Go Nuts! – Raw almond butter is as versatile as it is healthy. It’s a great snack spread between slices of apple, on toast topped with banana for breakfast, or in pita bread for lunch.

Savoury Snacks & Lunchbox Ideas

  • Cheese & nuts – cheddar or feta cheese chunks with nuts is a really tasty combo
  • Boiled eggs mashed up with mayonnaise, some chopped red pepper & sunflower seeds is great on crackers, in pita bread or a wrap
  • Avocado mushed up with tomato and pine nuts on toast is delicious
  • Hummus with cucumber, celery and red pepper sticks
  • Cheese & crackers
  • Nut & Seed crackers or oatcakes are lower glycaemic options
  • Healthier options for crisps you can get in the supermarket are: Pop crisps, Lentil crisps and Kale chips

Sweet Snacks & Lunchbox Ideas

  • Apple, almond butter & raisin sandwich – take two slices of apple and put a layer of almond butter and sprinkling of raisins between them
  • Nuts & seeds with fruit
  • Healthier yoghurt and desert options straight from the supermarket are: Co-Yo coconut yoghurt, Woodside Sheep yoghurt both are super creamy and delicious!

 

About the Author

Alexandra Jones, founder of The Healthy Girl is living proof that natural nutrition works!  She is the author of the upcoming book Slim, Sexy & Sensational – Discover the New & Easy Way to Lasting Weight Loss.  She is a respected Nutritional Therapist & Healthy Eating Expert who helps her clients create healthy eating and lifestyle habits that last. She speaks on the subject of healthy eating, for adults and kids, runs workshops and works with clients 121. Her tailored approach combines natural nutrition, exercise and mindset coaching, specifically focused on achieving the results you really want.  You can get in touch with her at: www.thehealthygirl.co.uk