No matter what age your children are they all like one thing; treats. Whether it be from chocolate chip cookies to grapes, sweets, lollipops, ice cream and so on and so on, there are so many treats out there that your children will ask for that it’s best to be prepared before they do. The reason to be prepared is simply that, if you’re not, you’re going to find yourself in a tug-of-war every time your child spies a treat that they want and asks if they can have it.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not saying that children should get treats once in a while, only that the vast majority of treats are actually not all that healthy. Loaded with sugar, salt, fat and an absolute laundry list of chemicals and additives, most treats these days are nothing of the sort.
And that’s why you need to be prepared as a parent to give your child something that will be in tune with what their idea of the treat is but also be, if not healthy, at least not damaging to their health. You need to be ready for those times when the kids are absolutely famished and begging for something, like when they first get home from school, a time when you might be busy yourself and prone to just let them have whatever they want. That way, instead of having to just give in to their demands (and boy can they be demanding) you’ll have something ready that you can give to them to satiate their hunger.
The best treats for kids are generally those that offer a bit of protein in combination with a complex carbohydrate so that they will feel satiated. Of course, it helps if said treat is on the sweet side because, let’s face it, kids are attracted to sweets like bees to honey.
With that in mind here is a great list of excellent sweets and snacks that you can have ready for the kids at any time with a little bit of preparation.
1. Any kind of fresh fruit. Some of the best are grapes and blueberries because they are small, portable and have a cuteness factor along with being delicious
2. Some types of fresh vegetables. Usually it’s best to serve these with some type of dipping sauce like blue cheese dressing but try to find a low-fat dressing if possible and serve it with baby carrots, bell pepper strips, brocoli florettes, sugar snap peas and even cherry tomatoes.
3. There are a number of companies that make naturally flavored and organic gummy bears. (Kids love anything gummy.)
4. Celery sticks with organic peanut butter spread onto them and raisins sprinkled on top is an amazingly healthy snack packed with flavor, vitamins and complex carbs.
5. Dried fruit is a great snack but try to find a brand that has not been cured or dried with sulfur dioxide. (Not exactly a healthy chemical.) Cranberries, strawberries pineapple, mango, bananas and apricots are all excellent.
6. Most types of nuts are fantastic as snacks but try to find a brand that’s low in salt. Mixing nuts with dried fruit is also an excellent idea.
If you are on the go with the kids there are frozen yogurt shops popping up all over the place. Generally speaking, frozen yogurt is an excellent alternative to ice cream and you will find that most shops have fresh fruit toppings. (They also have lots of junk food snack toppings so you may need to make sure that you limit what the kids can have put onto theirs.)
At the end of the day if you do a little bit of preparation and have some healthy treats sweets and snacks ready, you’ll find that not only are the kids happy but you’ll feel better knowing that what they’re eating is much healthier. The healthy snacking and ‘treat‘ habits that they form as children will help them immensely as adults as well and thus you’ll be doing your kids a favour now and in the future. As a parent there are few things that you can do that are more important.