Although there are many more unhealthy food choices today, there are also more healthy alternatives to common foods.
It has become easier to find healthier “swaps” for common foods and most grocery stores now offer a health food section for many of these alternatives.
While there are TONS of healthy swaps for all types of cooking and baking, we want to highlight a few, simple swaps for lunches for those kiddos of yours.
Drinks. While water should be the staple drink for your child, we know that’s not going to be their first, or maybe even second choice, especially when other kids at the lunch table are guzzling down juice boxes. Swap out those sugar-added options for those that are 100% juice. You can also try flavored waters or coconut water as alternatives. Many brands now include fruit and vegetable combo juices, so you can even sneak in some vegetables.
Meats. Swap out over-processed lunch meats like pastrami and bologna for lean, natural deli meats like turkey and chicken. Even better, grill up extra chicken and save for lunches. Send along with their favorite condiment (which is probably ketchup) or add it to some spinach for a salad – if they’re into those.
Breads. Swap out the white flour options for whole grain or multi-grain options. Try tortillas instead of sandwich bread for fun roll-ups, which also come in flavors like tomato, spinach and jalapeno for the daring kid.
Snacks. Swap out fruit snacks with fruit leather, Goldfish crackers with whole grain crackers like Wheat Thins, granola bars (yes, these have a LOT of sugar) with homemade trail mix and the high-sugar, rainbow-colored yogurts with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit.
Sweets. Fruits are naturally sweet so if your kid is looking for a sweet treat, try to encourage fruits for desserts. If you can’t avoid the candy craziness, especially for holidays (Easter is coming up!), then swap those high-sugar, high-fructose corn syrup options with organic lollipops and natural options. Many grocery stores now have a health food section with lots of options!
TKD Tip: Try swapping out some basics like oils instead of butter and Greek yogurt instead of dairy in your day-to-day cooking. Your family might not even notice and they’ll be eating healthier!
Parent/Child Activity: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Add instant oatmeal and fruits to your grocery list and have fun in the mornings with your kid topping their oatmeal with variations of fruits and see which they like best!