So you’ve eliminated the soda, sugary cereals and chips from your child’s diet, however could high calories and sugar still be lurking in some of your little one’s favorite snacks?
You may think that those yogurt packs, animal crackers and fruit pouches that you’re packing in your child’s lunch are a nutritious snack, however even these popular bites can be loaded with sugar and additives. To help give your toddler’s diet an upgrade, check out these 5 simple snack swaps featured in one of our recent “Get the Skinny” segments. With just a few key changes, you can quickly ditch the sugar and additives, and get more of the good stuff you want for your child.
Tip: Most of the snacks from brands like Plum, Happy Tots, Ella, etc. are good quality wholesome snacks and contain no key ingredients to avoid. However, not everything’s 100%, so here are 5 tips to upgrade your kids’ snacks!
1. Animal crackers (per 2 cookies: 43 calories – 50 mg sodium – 7 grams carbs – 0 fiber – 2.3 grams sugar)
- Instead of traditional animal crackers, switch to:
- Gerber Graduates Animal Crackers (made with whole wheat flour as first ingredient)
- Per 2 cookies: 30 calories – 25 mg sodium – 5 grams carbs – 0 fiber – 2 grams sugar
- Still made with added sugars, but at least contain more whole grain flour than any other ingredient
2. Organic Sweetened Applesauce (per tub: 90 calories, 23 grams carbs, 19 grams sugar)
- Instead of organic sweetened applesauce, switch to:
- GoGo Squeez Applesauce on the Go (plain or flavored available with no added sugar)
- Per tube: 60 calories, 15 grams carbs, 12 grams sugar
- Ingredients: apples, apple juice concentrate
3. Squeezable Yogurt (per tube of Yoplait Go-Gurt: 60 calories, 12 grams carbs, 9 grams sugar, 2 grams protein)
- Instead of Yoplait Go-Gurt, switch to:
- Siggi’s Low-Fat Yogurt Tubes (50% less sugar and 2.5 times more protein)
- Per tube: 50 calories, 6 grams carbs, 5 grams sugar, 5 grams protein
- Ingredients: lowfat milk, sugar, real whole fruit, fruit pectin, live active cultures
4. Fruit Pouches (made with 100% fruits and fruit purees)
- Instead of fruit-only pouches, switch to:
- Fruit and Veggie Pouches & Fruit + Yogurt Pouches
- It will still taste sweet because of the fruit, with the added benefit of fiber-rich beans/lentils, probiotic-rich Greek yogurt and the additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants of the veggie blends.
5. Fruit Juice and Punch Boxes (per box of Kool-Aid Jammers with 100% DV Vitamin C: 80 calories, 20 grams carbs, 20 grams sugar)
- Instead of Kool-Aid Jammers, switch to:
- V8 Fusion Fruit Punch (no added sugar, plus real fruit and vegetable juices)
- Per box: 60 calories, 15 grams carbs, 14 grams sugar
- Ingredients: water, juices of white grapes, sweet potatoes, carrots, cherries, pomegranates
For more details on this topic, watch Molly’s full “Get the Skinny” segment on WGNO.com.
Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD registered dietitian with Ochsner Health System, manages the Nutrition department of Ochsner Fitness Center and is founder of the Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow the Eat Fit team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @EatFitNOLA.
Looking for healthy recipes? Download the Eat Fit Smartphone app. Visit OchsnerEatFit.org.
Email email@example.com to schedule an appointment for nutrition counseling