On the Go Nutrition for Your Kids
By Sara Butler
Life with kids can be hectic. Sometimes fitting in a nutritious snack or meal when you’re fighting to get out of the door on time or to soccer practice can be a big challenge. In these mad dash moments, you have to find a way to work in something -- especially if the alternative is to eat nothing at all or something incredibly unhealthy. Here’s a breakdown of on-the-go choices and what to look for to make sure you keep your family’s snacks healthy.
Most parents turn to snack bars in order to get something into their children’s bellies. But are these choices really the best? Each has pros and cons. You must pay attention to the calories, sugar, and fat in each bar, which is why you must look at the nutritional information on the box.
As far as the different types of bars out there, there are several kinds. These include:
- Granola – These sound healthy, but pre-packaged granola bars often have a lot of sugar and fat, often as much as found in a candy bar. If granola bars are what your kids like, try making some at home.
- Cereal – Bars made from cereal are often fortified with vitamins and minerals, but you must be on the lookout for calories and sugar. Look for bars made with whole grains and real fruit.
- Protein – These bars are packed with protein and often contain less sugar than other bars.
Tips to Help
When you’re at the market looking for snack bars for your kids, there are some things you can do to try to find the healthier option. You should read the nutrition label and look at:
- Calories – Think about the activity level of your child. If you have a child who is very active, then they can probably use a few more calories than a child who leads a more sedentary life.
- Fat – Your child needs fat to grow and develop, as long as it’s the right type of fat. Unsaturated fats are what you should be on the lookout for while limiting the number of saturated fats you feed your child and eliminate trans fats.
- Protein - Protein is important to good health but you should shoot for complete sources of protein such as milk, cheese, and eggs. It’s not recommended for kids to eat a diet too high in protein.
Being busy doesn’t mean nutrition goes out the window. Plan ahead and know what you’re giving to your kids and everything should turn out just fine!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy Springs, Ga.