Guest post by Alyssa Bauman, Nourished.ca
Active families are always in need of smarter, more nourishing snacks to keep the hunger (and temper tantrums) at bay, but snacks are also paramount in keeping kids primed, fuelled, and ready to thrive. Nutritious snacks are just as important as healthy meals, so make them count. Here are some tips to help you snack smarter.
1) Satisfy those salty cravings with smarter snacks.
Mineral rich sea salt does a better job of curbing those salty snack cravings than a bag of chips, which will leave you feeling bloated, tired, thirsty and wanting more. Seaweed, kale chips, and edamame are some of my favourite crowd-pleasing snacks that not only satiate the cravings, but also help your body to restore its missing minerals.
2) Incorporate more fruits and veggies into your snacks.
It’s a no-brainer, I know, but who doesn’t need a reminder. Vegetables such as carrot sticks, cucumber chips, and red pepper slices, are low in calories and nutrient dense. Plus, they’re super portable. They also fill you up faster and for longer because of their high fibre content.
3) Dig the dip.
Entice them with a creamy hummus, guacamole, almond butter, or yogurt dip. Do what you can to keep them snacking on produce, and encourage them to eat their fruits and veggies first. Then they can indulge in the less healthy snacks. Chances are, they’ll eat less treats after filling up on the healthy stuff.
4) Read the labels.
The first three ingredients on the label matter most, as they are the most abundant. Avoid any product that lists sugar early in the list of ingredients. Question ingredients that you can’t pronounce or define. Don’t be fooled by the “all natural” labels as it has no true definition – any product can be claimed as all natural.
Related: How To Make The Best Smoothies
5) Liquids count, but choose wisely.
Sodas, juices, and energy drinks have 300+ empty calories, and many of them have caffeine, which actually dehydrates the body. This is not a good thing on hot days! Instead, stick with water. Drink as much water as possible. Flavour it up with lemon, parsley, cucumber, ginger, mint, lemongrass. Get creative, and remember if you let your kids play around with it, chances are they will drink up.
RECIPE FOR SMARTER SNACKS: Crispy Kale Chips
This is a snack that everyone loves! It’s easy to make, and so incredibly tasty. You’ll need:
– 2 large heads of organic kale (or more, they go fast), stems removed
– 1 teaspoon sea salt
– 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (a nice added dose of Vitamin B and protein)
– Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Make sure kale is super dry. In a large bowl, massage kale leaves with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season lightly with sea salt and nutritional yeast. Spread out in one layer on a baking sheet. Space is a good thing so you might need more than one sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then check. Kale should be just starting to crisp. Remove from oven. Be very careful because these can burn quite quickly.