As children return to school, the preparing their snacks is again a concern for parents. Nowadays, the offer, with regard to food for children, is very varied. However, we must be careful, as the most practical and appealing products are not always the best nutritionally. In this article, we cover some of the most balanced options that can be the solution for children’s snacks. Note also for the snacks that may not be the best option.
Avoid convenience snacks
when we talk about convenience snackswe are referring to packets of sugary biscuits, milk bread, packaged cakes, that is, items that, despite being practical, be unhealthy. The main problem with these foods is the fact that they are rich in sugars and fats, which do not contribute to the good health of your children. In addition, these products can be more expensive when compared to other unpackaged foods. When it comes to your children’s snacks, choose preferably by bread, from time to time, you can opt for crackers of water and salt. The bread can have butter, cheese, ham, or even fruit jam. Avoid chocolate fillings or sweet creams, as they are very sugary. Although bread is not so “practical”, as it requires prior preparation, it is much healthier. In addition, it is much less expensive than the packaged snacks available on the market. Remember, the more packages you open, the less healthy the product is. Also read: School calendar 2022/2023: Start of the school year, tests and exams
always include water
Water is the drink of choice in all situations. It is our main source of hydration and the most abundant liquid in our body. So, it should be included in every meal. In addition, it should be drunk throughout the day. Ensuring your child is hydrated throughout the day is vital, not only for health, but also for concentrating on school activities. Although schools have water available, children often forget about it and end up not drinking. If you send a bottle of water with your child to school every day, you will be promoting water intake. Over time, children ingrain these habits and end up doing them independently. When it comes to bottles, opt for reusable ones. In addition to being cheaper, as you can use it every day, it reduces the use of plastic. The environment will thank you. Also read: Prepaid School Card: What is it and what are its features and advantages?
Give preference to complex carbohydrates
What are complex carbohydrates? Complex carbohydrates are sources of energy that are slowly absorbed, that is, our body will take longer to digest and will provide energy for longer. The most common examples of this type of product are bread, rice and pasta. Since we’re talking about school lunches, let’s focus on bread. This food is a great source of energy for your children and is extremely versatile as it can fill you up with various things. However, you should give preference to the normal bread of the day, instead of the typical loaf of bread. Although loaf bread is also a source of complex carbohydrates, it has a higher amount of sugars and preservatives, which turns out to be less interesting from a nutritional point of view. Once in a while, that’s fine, but avoid adding it daily. Other sources of complex carbohydrates that you can use are cereals. However, we are not referring to breakfast cereals. These are extremely high in sugar and should not be eaten regularly. Cereals like oatmeal are a great source of this type of carbs and you can alternate them with bread so the snack doesn’t get repetitive. A great way to ingest them is mixed with a solid yogurt. Oatmeal is not at all expensive and you can find it on many surfaces. However, be careful, as it is often mixed with other cereals and fruits. Opt for plain oatmeal, besides being cheaper, it is nutritionally better. Also read: Celebrating Halloween? 6 tips to spend little
Bet on fruit for your children’s snacks
Something important that must to put, daily, in your children’s snacks is fruit. This is undoubtedly one of the most nutritious foods for children. In addition to being rich in vitamins, the fruit is also a source of hydration. Many parents choose not to send fruit to school as it is impractical for children. Sometimes they opt for pre-packaged versions of this food. It is essential that children acquire the habit of eating fruit in nature, that is, without being prepared. If we are talking about small children, between five and eight years old, choose to cut the fruit at home and send it in a container. In the case of older children, promote fruit intake in the normal way. Currently, there have been some price increases, particularly for fruit. However, there are always some promotions. Furthermore, if you choose seasonal products, the price is lower, as availability is greater. As far as pre-packaged fruit goes, it’s always an option. The nutritional properties remain, however, the price is much higher. Also read: School test: What is it for and how to proceed?
Always try to include a source of protein
Another important aspect to consider in your child’s snacks is the protein sources. A nutritionally balanced snack should always have a food that provides protein to the body. For example, cheese, milk, yogurt or ham are some examples of more common protein sources. With regard to this type of food, there are some aspects to consider. For example, if you opt for yoghurt for a snack, make sure you choose the ones that have less sugar and fat. Normally, the yogurts that best fulfill these requirements are the low-fat ones. The brand is indifferent, you can choose the ones with the best price, whether original brand or white brand. In the case of opting for the source of protein in the bread, give preference to the cheese. Although ham is also quite common in snacks, this is a highly processed product, which makes it not so interesting from a nutritional point of view. Cheese, on the other hand, is a simpler and more nutritionally complete product. As with yogurts, the brand of cheese doesn’t matter. Always choose the most economical in order to maximize savings. Read also: Child spending: How to readjust the budget in tough times
Avoid putting “lambarices” in your children’s snacks
It is common for children’s snacks to have “temptations” such as chocolates, gummies, candies, cakes, among other products. They are extremely high in sugars and fats and do nothing for your child’s health. Children like it, it’s true. However, you should not let children decide what they want to eat, as they are not mature enough to understand the benefits and harms of certain foods. This is not to say that, from afar, you can’t give your children some treats, however, making this a daily habit is not beneficial. Try to save these treats for special occasions, for example, birthdays, children’s day, carnival or halloween. Avoid trivializing the use of sweets and treats. Also, doing this will save you a lot, as these items are not exactly cheap. Remember if, children can eat everything in moderation and sweets should only be given at special times. Also read: College and leaving home? What to consider in the new budget