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Healthy kids from Teeth to Feet: kids & Health
By Aviva Patz for healthy kids from Teeth to Feet The school year ends, and the parties, barbecues, vacations, carnivals and festivals begin — not to mention a kitchen that’s open 24/7. “It’s harder to get kids to eat healthy snacks in summer because of all the high-calorie temptations,” says Portland-based pediatrician Stephen Ames, M.D. It gets a lot easier when you’ve got healthy substitutions for their favorite treats. Your child won’t even miss the sugar.
Old summer Snack: Ice CreamNew summer Snack: Frozen Coconut BarTry “ice cream” made from coconut milk. “Coconut milk has germ-fighting and heart-protective properties,” explains certified health counselor Beth Aldrich, “and it may actually stimulate metabolism.” another healthy frozen treat is mashed frozen bananas with your choice of toppings: try crushed peanuts (they’re packed with protein and healthy fats) and dark chocolate chips (they contain antioxidants).
Old summer Snack: SlushiesNew summer Snack: Watermelon Ice PopsThey’re easy to make and loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, says Aldrich. Puree watermelon chunks in a blender till smooth; pour into ice pop molds and freeze. (Add plain low-fat yogurt for a hit of extra calcium if you like.) also try pureed strawberries, oranges and grapefruit with mint.
Old summer Snack: Kettle CornNew summer Snack: Seasoned PopcornHigh in fiber and low in calories, air-popped popcorn can make a fun, filling snack –without the heavy sugar. dress it up with a drizzle of fat-free chocolate syrup; a mix of cinnamon and stevia (a natural plant extract that has no calories); or combine with a handful of peanuts and toss with a blend of melted coconut oil and stevia (or agave) nectar for caramel-corn flavor.
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Old summer Snack: hot DogNew summer Snack: Nitrate-free Turkey DogsYou won’t have to worry about chemicals or bad fats with a nitrate-free turkey dog. Plus, the protein will keep kids satisfied for hours. wrap the turkey dogs in all-natural, whole-wheat crescent rolls and top with mustard for a hearty, savory snack. Or try Tofurky Franks, made with tofu, for a meat-free ballpark taste.
Old summer Snack: Packaged Potato ChipsNew summer Snack: Homemade Veggie ChipsPeel fresh carrots, parsnips, beets and sweet potatoes and cut into 1/8-inch slices. place in a single layer on a cookie sheet; spray with vegetable oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 375 F. kids can’t resist the colorful crunch — no dip needed!
Old summer Snack: Lemonade or ColaNew summer Snack: Fruit-infused WaterSlice fresh fruit — lemon, berries, watermelon or even pineapple — and let it float in a water dispenser or pitcher, suggests Aldrich. Sweeten to taste with Stevia; studies show that it may even prevent tooth decay by fighting the bacteria that cause it. let kids choose the fruit and name the drink; they’ll think they came up with the idea themselves!
Photo: @iStockphoto.com/WILLSIEhas written for many national publications, such as Parents, Parenting, Health, Self, Redbook and Marie Claire. She is a frequent contributor to healthy Kids.
Link to this post:6 healthy Makeovers for summer Snacks
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