I’m jumping into the heart of the subject right out of the gate: kids eat a lot of refined carbohydrates. Goldfish, cereal, bread, frozen waffles, boxed mac n’ cheese, breaded chicken fingers…sound familiar? These foods are both convenient and hyper-palatable (meaning they excite your little one’s taste buds). They’re also reinforced by our government. The USDA champions the “healthy whole grains” ideology to children and adults alike. It’s understandable that parents keep buying these foods thinking they are healthy kid snacks.
The problem is we don’t differentiate real food from processed food.
A grain of rice is a WHOLE grain. A kernel of wheat that has been processed down into a packaged food with the label reading “whole wheat bread/crackers/cookies”? Not so much. This is a problem. When you strip food out of its natural form, you also strip away the nutrition. While the USDA gives its “Smart Snacks Compliant” approval (a program designed for school aged children) to Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion chips, as a nutritionist with no vested interest in Big Food, I completely disagree.
Check out the post I wrote for Seacoast Moms Blog to see five wholesome, real food snacks that are high in nutrition, but low in sugar and processed carbohydrates. In other words, they truly deserve the “healthy snacks for kids” label.