Eating healthy really can be FUN (it's true!) and easier than you might think. Here are some of my top tips for choosing healthier food for kids.
Do you know where your food comes from? It's hard to tell sometimes when you're at the grocery store, staring down aisles and aisles of pretty packages and fine print, isn't it?
My own family tries to eat healthy, wholesome food as much as possible, but I admit: trying to stay healthy with our busy schedules can be extremely challenging sometimes.
And while we're surrounded by lots of local farms and farmers markets a plenty, where it's easier to know the source of the food we put into our bodies, we often find ourselves having to make quick stops at whatever stores are on the way to our next activity/sports/work event/family obligation.
Choosing healthier family snacks
And, if your family is like mine, we LOVE our snacks. I'm a dessert fiend! And, no surprise, so are my kids. We love our fresh, local, organic fruits & veggies, but we also love, love, LOVE our sweet treats too!
And finding healthy snacks is an area that perhaps can seem to be more challenging. But thanks to the variety of awesome snack products out in today's food world, it's a lot easier than you might think to find wholesome, healthy, organic, non-GMO snack products.
I'm a working mom of two kids who have equally busy sports/band/school/social schedules. So today, I thought I'd share some tips that have helped me find healthier foods for kids while we're out and about. Whether we're at the airport for another adventure, the grocery store, or the local market. Here's what you can look for to help make healthier choices for you and your family.
Disclaimer: I am not a dietician or physician, nor do I even play one on TV. These are tips I use for incorporating healthier eating habits and finding more wholesome food with my own family, and I hope you find some here that will work for you, too!
Tips for choosing healthier food for kids
Choose organic food when possible
I completely understand that it's really challenging for many families to purchase large amounts of organic food, so if you have to pick and choose, go for organic fruits and vegetables when you can. Certified organic foods – especially those labeled as "100% organic" – cannot knowingly contain any GMOs.
Look for foods that carry the Non-GMO Project Verified seal
These are products that have been verified as having non-GMO ingredients by a third party verification system, through an independent non-profit organization. Whenever I see that seal on any food product but especially on snack products that I think my kids would enjoy, I know that the ingredients within those treats are healthier and come from sources that haven't been genetically modified.
Check the first three ingredients listed
Ingredients are generally listed in order of quantity within a product. So I usually seek out products that have real fruits and veggies within the top three. If things like sugar or processed ingredients are listed in the top three, I usually put those packages back on the store shelves.
Now, don't get me wrong: my kids eat chips and candy like every other kid. But as much as possible, I try to make sure the majority of what they are eating is more wholesome than empty, sugary calories.
The first three ingredients of the Ruby Rockets Rock-It Red Fruit & Veggie Pops, for instance, include: Filtered Water, Organic Sweet Potato Puree, and Organic Strawberry Puree. And the company makes a point to list at the bottom of the ingredients list that "Sugars derived from fruit and vegetable ingredients only."
Now that's my kind of sweet treat!
Shop from the source whenever possible
We are fortunate where we live to be surrounded by local farms and farmers markets. Seek out farms near you that offer U-Pick options, which are a great way to spend the day as a family and also get the freshest, locally grown produce to take home. Many farms nowadays often have lots of opportunities for family fun while you're there picking berries, such as playground equipment, farm goats, chickens, and llamas the kids can visit, and obstacle courses.
Your local farmers market is another fun place to spend a morning or afternoon with the family and not only buy fresh, local, wholesome food options, but they're also a fabulous opportunity to introduce your kids to local producers, growers, and food artisans. Finally, check out any CSAs in your area. CSAs offer wonderful opportunities to have fresh, locally grown produce delivered right to your doorstep.
Seek out non-GMO products online
If you do not live near farms or farmers markets, or have CSA options easily accessible to you, you can also shop online. There are many organic, non-GMO-friendly websites now that offer these wholesome product options online, and you can often find free shipping coupons through a quick web search. I've actually purchased a few healthier products that we couldn't find locally from large box store online sites!
What about you: how do you make sure you find healthier food for kids?
Family-friendly dinner recipes
- Best Instant Pot Chili Recipe
- Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken: Make Once, Eat Twice Recipe
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Loaded Nachos
- Instant Pot BBQ Ribs with Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Honey Bourbon Wings
- Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Meatballs