Now that your child is homeschooling, you might find there is a tendency to snack more during the day. The USDA Economic Research Service reports children under 12 years of age consume approximately 49 pounds of sugar each year. Let’s look at healthy options for snacks and meals which will not only improve your child’s level of concentration but also be beneficial to his/her overall health and wellness.
Fruit Snacks. Many children love these sweet and gummy snacks which are actually candy disguised as a healthy snack. For a fun homeschool activity, search for an online recipe for fruit gummies. This is a healthy alternative which also incorporates math, language arts and science!
Granola Bars. When we hear granola, we think it is healthy. That is not necessarily the case. Some are filled with candy, sugar and additives. Instead, opt for a homemade, natural granola which can be made into a bar or used as a topping on yogurt.
Apple Juice. This juice tends to be a childhood staple at snack time and mealtime. One serving of apple juice contains 28 grams of sugar. Fruit and vegetable infused water is a healthy choice for keeping your homeschoolers hydrated while they study.
Mac and Cheese. The convenience of this boxed classic makes it a family favorite, however, it is packed with sodium, GMOs and preservatives. Turn family dinner night into a homeschool lesson which includes meal planning and preparation, gathering and measuring ingredients and exploring the social component of dining by using conversation starters.
Potato Chips. This very popular snack is high in trans-fat and salt. Kale is a superfood which can be made into delicious chips. Satisfy that craving for something salty with something sweet and salty by trying sweet potato chips or keep it simple with air popped popcorn with a flavored topping such as cinnamon or parmesan cheese.
Cookies and Cakes. Sweets treats are so yummy for both children and adults, however, they are loaded with calories, fats and sugars. To satisfy a sweet tooth, try toast with fruit or nut butter, frozen bananas or dark chocolate.
Chocolate Milk. As parents, we have added chocolate syrup to milk so our children will get the nutrients they need from a glass of milk. What we are really doing is adding sugar to their diet. Nowadays, there are many chocolate soy, oat and almond milk options available or try stirring a bit of honey into a glass of milk to sweeten it naturally.
Healthy students are better learners. Healthy eating habits can lead to better grades, higher test scores and improved concentration and memory. After all, we are what we eat.