One of my big focuses this year is on eliminating processed foods and sugar from our diet. Preservatives, artificial sweeteners, dyes- our bodies aren’t meant to process those things. While I realize that it’s probably impossible to eliminate them completely, I can cut them down by simply NOT buying things like chips, crackers, fruity snacks, Capri Suns, etc. My kids have always been a fan of “bars”- usually the high-in-sugar variety. I think we tend to feel like a granola bar is a “healthy” option to things like fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, chips, etc, but if it’s packed with sugar and carbs, and low in fiber, then you might as well go for the junk. At my kids age, they should have a max of 25 grams of sugar a day.. some bars have 15-20 grams of sugar. In one bar, at one meal! Nope.
I decided to look up some recipes for making our own, and came across LOTS of great blogs and websites with recipes. Here are just a few! It seems I am not the first person to have this epiphany!
I should add in here- that my ideas about what is healthy eating, what kids should eat, how to be healthy, are my own. I do my own research and decide for my own family what I think is best.. I don’t get in anyone else’s business about what they feed their kids. You feed your kids what you want to, and I’ll do the same. I do like to share my successes and failures in case it’s of help to others, but that’s as far as it goes. If I see you out in public giving your kids Mountain Dew and pizza for breakfast, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and just assume you are having a hard day and just couldn’t get your hands on any fruit that morning- and I’ll keep my mouth shut.
Below: “Monkey” Bars, and Shakeology bars… banana, yogurt, lots of protein (vanilla Pro-Fit, Peanut Butter, local honey, crushed peanuts or almonds. In some of our bars we toast the oats and nuts in the oven first, then mix them in- that adds a totally different flavor. The Shakeology Bars,just have almond milk, 3Tbsp of local 3Beez Honey, 2.5 cups of rolled oats, and then are put in the freezer to get firm.
Once they are frozen I take them out, cut them into bars, then wrap with them in saran wrap and put in the freezer to store. Great for kids lunches, or for myself when I need a healthy snack! My kids like to help make them too, which makes them a while lot more likely to eat them. I rarely make them the same twice- I am always experimenting with different ingredients to find the perfect mix. Any recipe I find that calls for sugar- I omit it and substitute with honey, agave nectar, chopped dates, and/or peanut butter. I also add flax seed and chia seed to add in some fiber!
What are your go-to kids snacks? Do you worry about the added sugar in the foods your family eats?