As a health conscious mama, one of the things you want to strive for is a healthy diet for your children. Unfortunately in today's world and especially in the good ole' state of Louisiana that I live in, healthy diets aren't always a top priority (even I suffer from an Oreo addiction and a fond love for chocolate). Around these neck of the woods, many parents are not too strict with the junk and snacks that their child eats.
I've seen and know parents who have no rules on "how many" cookies or pieces of desserts a young child can have and I've even seen other kids younger than my one year old chomping down on chocolate Easter bunnies and ice cream cones. I know families who allow their young children to drink Coke all day as they please and have whatever snacks they want. I don't know about you; but just thinking about a three year old drinking Coke all day makes my stomach turn.
If we hold off on introducing junk and processed snacks, then our children will typically just ask for the good stuff like fruits. Why expose them to something that they don't need in their diets? If they don't know about it, they will not want it. They eat that stuff because we give it to them. One day it will be a little harder to say "no" to a few Oreos, but as a one or two year old, it is super easy for me to say "no."
I stand firm in my "no junk" snacks for my child and do not see myself budging on this anytime soon. My near one year old may want the cupcake she sees me eating, but that's simply just because she wants it. She'd want it if it was also a piece of liver. Just because a baby or toddler points to your food does not mean that they want that
food, it's just that they want anything you have. Young children do not need processed junk in their diets and older children should always have limits set on their snacks.
It is true that "you are what you eat."
I was lucky enough to recently get to check out a new children's book,
, which tells an adorable story about eating healthy and how the "bad" stuff can make you feel not so well. This brightly colored story has beautiful illustrations with a charming little island family that will make you want to put on your hula skirt and drink straight from a fresh coconut.
This adorable story shows how eating the wrong kind of snack can cause a tummy ache, something that many of us know is true when we indulge in too much junk. This story can inspire your children to eat fresh, delicious fruits and it may even have them asking for some yummy smoothies and juice.
The characters in this fun book are heartwarming and very easy for a child to relate to. It's filled with adorable animals and a loving family. This colorful and fun book is a must have for your child. This rhyming story is one of those stories that has a great "hidden" message and this time for once, it's about our diets. In my opinion, we need more books like this!
Here are some tips for snacks and foods for your child:
- Avoid serving foods that have many ingredients in them, especially with many words that you can't pronounce
- Avoid foods where sugar is listed in any way as the first or second ingredient
- Avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
- Avoid artificial coloring and flavors
- Avoid foods with a high sodium content
- Avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup
- Serve fresh fruits, vegetables
- If juice is desired, water down 100% juice
- Cook homemade snacks from scratch (this way you avoid preservatives and such)
- Get creative with your fruits and veggies for snack time
So am I claiming that I practice everything for my own snacks?
No, I don't.
As I stated earlier, I have a fond love for Oreos (but I cook mostly no processed meals). I'm trying to work on cutting out processed snacks so that way as my daughter gets older, she won't see me eating them. And am I saying my kid will never have chocolate and Oreos?
I'm just saying that we need to have a basic knowledge and we need to have limits. We all need to encourage healthy food items as long as we can and put off processed junk for as long as we can.
But that is just me.
Make sure to check out Joosh's Juice Bar and see how you can get your hands on this adorable, colorful and healthy story. Check them out on their
and purchase from Amazon.com.
What are your thoughts on junk food and snacks for young children?
Thanks for reading, Sasha