Healthy Kids Snacks for a Healthy Future

Healthy Kids Snacks for a Healthy Future

A great way to increase nutrition in school age children is by providing healthy snacks. Providing kids healthy snacks at a young age helps them to make healthier choices as they grow up and set them up for a healthy future. Here are some healthy snack ideas to improve nutrition and health in school age children. Keeping healthy snacks available in the house and not having easy access to processed food snacks is the best way to instill healthy eating behaviors in children for life. Do your kids and your self a favor by providing nutrition dense foods that will nourish young bodies and minds! Doing so will improve their immune system, helping them reduce frequency of colds by providing many important vitamins and minerals not found in processed foods.

Fruits: Fruits provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fruits also help provide important fluids that help prevent dehydration.

Ideas: Pair a piece of fruit with a handful of nuts or seeds, or spread almond or peanut butter on an apple. Provides balanced carbohydrates, healthy fat, protein, and fiber for sustained focus and energy. Have frozen grapes handy for a frozen treat. Keep fresh fruit washed and available at all times so its easy to grab.

Vegetables: Vegetables are important for providing important vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin A. Vegetables also provide important insoluble and soluble fiber.

Ideas:  Instead of just celery and carrots, why not slice red or yellow peppers, zucchini and cucumber spears, or broccoli and cauliflower?  Dip in hummus, salsa, or avocado dip for an easy and tasty way to squeeze in extra vegetables, fiber, and protein for a healthy diet

Whole grains: Whole grains consist of three parts: the germ, bran, and endosperm. Whole grains are important because they contain the original vitamins and minerals essential for children’s growing bodies. Whole grains also contain fiber, which is important for good digestion.

Ideas: Whole grain tortilla wrap with peanut butter and banana, Brown rice with beans, whole wheat pitas stuffed with avocado and fresh veggies. Cooked quinoa with sliced fruit and walnuts with a sprinkle of cinnamon will provide whole grains, fruit and nuts.

Beans and Legumes: Beans are a great source of soluble fiber and important nutrients children need. Beans and legumes are high in protein and provide fullness and energy.

Ideas: Vegetables dipped in hummus, whole grain tortilla wrap with hummus and spinach and shredded carrots. A fun snack that kids can help with making is roasted garbanzo beans sprinkled with sea salt and other seasonings for a crunchy, wholesome snack

Nuts and Seeds: nuts and seeds provide healthy fats, protein, fiber, and important nutrients for healthy growing children. Healthy fats, protein, and fiber assist children with sustained energy and focus.

Ideas: spread nut butter on celery sticks and sprinkle with raisins, a small handful of nuts with a piece of fruit, almond butter on a rice cake or apple slices.

Fueling Up for a Healthy Hike

Fueling Up for a Healthy Hike

By Tanya Goyette, RDN

Its summertime! Time to hit the trails and have fun exploring in the great outdoors. Here you will find several useful tips to help you be safe and perform better on your hikes! Happy trails!

Stay Hydrated!

Summertime increases our need for water. Whether you are at sea level or in the mountains with a high altitude or a desert environment, it is important to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated starts well before your hike begins.

Many people are not drinking enough water daily and this puts you at risk of complications when faced with a strenuous hike and heat. How do you know you are hydrated? Are you drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day? Are your lips or skin dry? Do you have fatigue or loss of energy? Are you dizzy or weak? Do you have a headache? These may be signs you are not drinking enough water.

Start drinking the evening before and bring 32 ounces (1 liter) of water for every hour you are hiking in hot or humid climates. For high altitude, you should do the same, even if the air is cooler, it is dryer and thinner.

One more tip! Keep cool by wearing a hat and light wicking clothing that reflects the heat and sweat. The more you sweat the more hydration you need.

Eat before you go!

Whether you go early in the morning or later in the day, you need to have adequate calories to fuel up for your hike. Having the right kind of calories will help you perform better and sustain your energy levels. Hiking is hard work and uses up your energy stores. Here are some healthy suggestions for you.

Carbohydrates: start with healthy carbohydrates coming from whole grains such as oatmeal, a whole wheat tortilla, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, or brown rice. Fruits such as bananas, oranges, and apples are also a great option.

Protein: good sources of protein come from nuts, seeds, beans, pea protein, sprouted brown rice protein, and hemp protein.

Fats: Healthy fats also come from nuts and seeds, avocado, and olive oil

Vegetables and fruits: Be sure you add in some color to your meals by adding fruits and vegetables!

Snacks and Meals to pack with you.

Now that you have some ideas of what a well-rounded meal looks like, here are some specific snacks you can take that will keep and not go bad or get soggy. You want to be sure you take along foods that will not spoil in hot weather.

Dates and Walnuts: Grab a baggie full of dates and walnuts. Stuff a walnut into the date. Eat! Provides healthy protein, fats, carbohydrate and nutrients.

Tortilla Roll-up: A simple lunch is to roll up a tortilla with peanut butter or almond butter, and sliced bananas.

Salty snacks: healthy salty snacks such as salted nuts, wasabi peas, and whole grain snack foods

Trail mix: bring along some trail mix for a salty and sweet option

Fruit: grapes, apples and oranges are easy and portable foods to keep you hydrated and provide healthy fiber, carbohydrates, and nutrients.

Re-fuel after the Hike

Your hike is over! Congratulations! Now it’s time to refuel and replenish your nutrition stores.

Electrolytes: fruits such as bananas, avocados, dates, and raisins are a great electrolytes source of potassium. Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, beans and lentils are all great choices to refuel.

Salt: you lose salt and water when sweating during hiking or high heat. This is when we need to have some salt in our foods to replenish our stores of this important electrolyte.

Meals: If you are eating a meal after your hike choose a combination of whole grain carbs, protein, and fats such as beans and rice with lots of veggies and guacamole.

Snacks: Any of the snacks mentioned above are great choices to refuel during and after your hike.

Hydration: Just because you’re done with your hike does not mean you should stop hydrating. Keep drinking water and try some orange juice or coconut water for natural sources of electrolytes.

Here is one of my favorite balanced electrolyte powders to re-hydrate with. Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator

 

Fueling Up for a Healthy Hike

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea basics

Everything you ever wanted to know about the health benefits of green tea! Green tea is a super healthy drink packed with antioxidants. Read below to find out the facts of this wonderful plant!

  • Tea is from a plant called

Camellia sinensis

Tea plants produce several types of tea

  • White tea: new growth buds and leaves
  • Green tea: unfermented
  • Oolong: partially fermented
  • Black: fermented

Fermented: Exposure to air during the drying process

  • Nothing added during this process
  • Green tea and white tea is not fermented and retains more antioxidants
  • Antioxidants: active chemicals in plants that fight toxins that cause harm to the human body

Health benefits

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Exercise enhancement
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Skin disorders
  • Weight loss
  • Iron overload
  • Viral infections
  • Neurological decline

 How green tea works

  • Opens up blood vessels to reduce blood clots, heart attack and stroke
  • Slows growth of cancer cells
  • Lowers lipids in the blood
  • Fights viral infections
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps control blood sugar
  • Increases calorie burning

How much green tea?

  • Most research has indicated that green tea should be consumed daily
  • 3-6 cups daily most beneficial but best results are seen with 5 or more cups daily
  • Green tea extracts in pill form can be taken

How will you start adding green tea to your diet? Here is one of my favorite brands to get you started! Click Here!

Caution! Things to know

  • Caffeine content of green tea can range from 25- 50 mg. per cup
  • Caffeine sensitive can try decaffeinated
  • Medication interaction with Warfarin- due to vitamin K content
  • Tannins in tea bind to iron which can be problematic for those with iron deficiencies
  • Ask your doctor before use!

 

  • Sinija VR, Mishra HN. Green Tea Health Benefits. Journal of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine. 2008; 17(4): 232-242.
  • Barclay L, MD. New Research on the Health Benefits of Green Tea. Life Extension. April 2008: 75-83

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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