Kid-Friendly Pantry Ideas – MSN Health & Fitness – Kids’ Health – 1

Man, I was glad to see this.  You ever really stop and look at all the “healthy” snacks for toddlers and preschoolers and their nutritional values?  Basicly, their value is zero.  AKA 0% of the RDA for just about everything.   Lots of sugars, lots of preservatives, and tons of artificial flavoring and color, but not much else.  Oh, and they’re expensive to boot.  Just what every budget conscious  family needs, right? 

Toddler finger foods are the worst, imo.  If they’re ready for finger foods then your probably already feeding them a pretty wide assortment of fruits, meats, and veggies in the form of 2nd and 3rd stage foods, right?  So why remove these items from their diet and replace them with expensive products that offer no nutritional value?  My 11 month old son would much prefer fresh banana or grapes prepared in bite sized pieces.  Or chicken.  Good lawd, that boy loves chicken.  Must be the deep south DNA in him. 

As for preschoolers, avoid those fruit drinks if you can and stick with real juice, milk, and water.  Snacks can be fresh fruits and veggies, or even things like the yogurts that come with M&M’s or Oreo’s with them.  We virtually never buy sweets or sodas, but when we do buy them we always share with our preschooler in appropriate amounts so that A)She’s not completely deprived of the goodies kids love, and B)So that she doesn’t develop a big “thing” for them.  Nothing will make a kid obsess over something more than forbidding them to partake of it. 

In addition to saving money, it’s just plain better for them.  Fruits provide much needed natural sugars that can assist metabolism without the dreaded “sugar high” and subsequent collapse, as well as vitamins that help build good immune systems.  Fresh, uncooked, veggies are a great source of Iron.  And both are also a good way of increasing hydration during those hot summer months. 

Also, you can try replacing your normal starches, such as pasta or potatoes, with a large mixed bowl of fresh fruit, salad, and/or cheese.  Combined with a baked or grilled meat, this makes for a delicious and healthy meal during the warmer months.

Kid-Friendly Pantry Ideas – MSN Health & Fitness – Kids’ Health – 1


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