Say Yes To These Healthier Snacks For KidsWritten by Kelsey Blackwell | Thursday, January 5th, 2017

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Milk and chocolate-chip cookies may be a classic, but for all its appeal this pair often comes up short on nutrition. Instead, consider one of these tasty snacks for kids, which put a healthier spin on snack time and also offer key vitamins, minerals and healthy fats for growing bodies. We’ve divided our go-to snacks by those that take a little preparation time and those that can be enjoyed straight from the bag. Don’t worry, all are long an enjoyment, short on prep time and super healthy– which we think is exactly what any snack should be.

No assembly required:

Choco Crunch Figgy Pops. Got a chocolate lover in the house? Instead of reaching for a bar, consider this healthful treat. Organic cocoa and cacao nibs, dates, figs, seeds and coconut combine for a decidedly indulgent snack that you can pass out with impunity. These Figgy Pops are sweetened with just a touch of organic apple juice concentrate and are an excellent source of fiber. Try all 5 delicious flavors.

Cinnamon Citrus Nut Fusion. Who doesn’t love cinnamon? This kid-approved spice pairs with citrusy orange, walnuts, cashews, almonds and dried apples and cranberries in this taste-bud tempting mix. Even better, all our Fruit and Nut Fusions are free from refined sugar and packed with protein-rich nuts, which can help anyone feel full longer. Translation, fewer, “mom, when’s dinner” interruptions.

Maple Vanilla Coconut Chips. Meet the humble and astonishingly delicious coconut chip. Kids will love this crunchy delight, which is kissed by vanilla bean and just a touch of real maple syrup. Go ahead and let them indulge. Coconut is packed with the good kind of fat. And don’t forget there’s more where these came from. Our coconut chips come in 5 other delicious flavors including kid friendly Spiced Cacao and Toasted Cinnamon.

Smyrna Figs. Fig-filled cookies? Who needs ‘em? These kid favorites are often loaded with unhealthy ingredients including high-fructose corn syrup. Yuck! If your tots like getting figgy with it, consider giving them the real deal instead. Our Smyrna Figs are truly nature’s candy offering flavors of honey, butterscotch and a slight nuttiness from the seeds. What’s more, they’re entirely free from added sugars and naturally high in fiber.

Some (painless) assembly needed:

Banana Date Pineapple Granola Bars. Make your own granola bars and avoid the unknown and unhealthy ingredients that often wind their way into this lunchbox staple. This recipe delivers, soft, chewy bars stuffed with tasty (and perhaps undetected) healthy ingredients.

Goji Berry Truffles. These dark cacao truffles are totally delicious, super easy to prepare, and packed with healthy fats, antioxidant-rich cacao and vitamin A-rich Goji. Yum! The only trouble will be keeping them around.

Sweet and Salty Popcorn. Making popcorn on the stove is fun for kids (under adult supervision, of course), plus popcorn is a good source of fiber and who doesn’t love it? Add some sweet coconut chips for a nice flavor balance and to boost this snack’s hunger-curbing power by delivering satiating healthy fats.

The most valuable gift: Teach your children gratitudeWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Your son has been begging for [insert expensive toy] for weeks. He informs you that all of his friends have one. When he sees it on TV his face lights up and he reminds you how much he wants one. On his birthday, you splurge and decide to finally deliver what he’s been wishing for. For the first weeks it’s his prize possession. Then, something shifts. The toy begins to make it out of the closet less and less and now he’s begging for an even bigger, better version that’s just come out. Sound familiar? In this age of unbridled consumerism, teaching your children gratitude may be the most valuable gift. A University at California Davis study showed that people who are grateful report higher levels of happiness and optimism and lower levels of depression and stress, according to Parents magazine.  Who couldn’t use a refresher? Use these following tips to create a grateful home.

Manners matter. In addition to good etiquette, teaching your children to use the words “please” and “thank you” is a reminder that someone is helping them. Begin using these words at an early age and they’ll become second nature as kids get older.

Just say no. It’s impossible to feel gratitude when your every whim is met. Say no when you need to.

Point out the small things. “Doesn’t the sand feel so good on your feet?” “This apple is so crunchy and juicy.” “We’re so lucky that grandma is able to come visit today.” Call attention to the everyday things that make life a little better and kids are likely to begin discovering them on their own. Before bed, ask what the best part of the day was. Kids will love having your undivided attention and will begin to look forward to the nightly ritual.

Let them pitch in. It’s a lot easier to have empathy for mom doing your laundry when you’re asked to pitch in around the house as well.  Start small. Something as simple as setting and clearing the table is a great reminder of all that goes into preparing a meal and to not take such tasks for granted.

Write thank-notes. After any gift, make sure your kids write a thank you note. Taking a moment to recognize someone has given you something and to contemplate why you like it instantly makes you feel more grateful. Receiving positive feedback on a notes reinforces for kids how small gestures can have a powerful impact.Remember it’s not possible to teach gratitude overnight. The key is consistency.

Have a happy, healthy Halloween!Written by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The costumes are fitted, the face paint perfected and candy pails picked, soon you’ll be heading out the door guiding your kiddos as they bounce from house to house gathering handfuls of confections that rarely make it past your threshold let alone in your children’s bodies. According to NielsenWire, Americans buy nearly 600 million pounds of candy during the Halloween season–roughly 1.9 pounds per person. Frightening! How do you allow kids to have their fun and eat it too without going crazy with sugar overload? Here are a few tips for a happy and healthy Halloween season.

Go the distance: If your kids love trick or treating, try extending the route this year. They’ll be encouraged by the promise of gathering even more candy, and along the way they’ll also be getting some great exercise. While weight and the distance walked determine calories burned, on average a 60 lb kid will expend 35 calories per mile. Now, imagine how they’ll get the heart pumping if they run from house to house.

Be a careful candy patroller: Once back home, your kids will likely want to dive right in to their stash. Go ahead and let them enjoy. After all, they did do all the work to gather the goods. Research shows that parents who micromanage sweet intake may end up with children who overcompensate by sneaking candy and overeating at every chance. Allowing one night of digging in sends a message that candy and sweets are intended for special occasions but not for every day. After Halloween night, allow children to select a piece of candy after a full meal; for example, one with lunch and two pieces with dinner.

Trade: If your kids value something more than candy, for example new Crayons or a book, set up a trading post with candy values for each item. Trading goods is a great way to teach business and negotiating skills. You may also use candy donation to show your kids the power of generosity. Many local dentists have drop-offs to send candy to the troops. Explain to your kids how giving can have a positive effect on the welfare of others and let them write personal notes to send with their treats.

 

5 easy and healthy kid snacksWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

It’s that time of year again. You know, when life speeds up, the days get shorter and the to-do list seems to magically double over night. Between carting the kids to after school engagements and managing your own busy day, planning for snack time can fall way down on the priority list. Inevitably though, “what can I eat,” will be the first thing parents hear when their kids pop through the door. Address growling tummies without falling prey to the endless not-so-healthy convenience foods out there with these healthier options.

Pineapple Cranberry Apple Granola Bars
Granola bars can be healthy—especially when they’re made with organic, antioxidant-rich fruit and a modest amount of added sugar. Kids will love these sweet, crunchy bars. Smear with peanut butter to up the protein power.

Chocolate Dipped Candied Apricots
High in vitamin A, iron, protein and fiber, dried apricots are a naturally convenient, healthful snack. But you can make them a real treat by dipping in antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. Let kids sprinkle with nuts, coconut or get creative with their own favorite crunchy add-ons.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
As if they needed another selling point, in addition to being tastier than the regular russet, sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamins A and C and are a great source of fiber and protein. Make them kid friendly by slicing into wedges, sprinkling with salt and baking at 425 (turn them just once so they get nice and crisp). Yum!

Fig and goat cheese pizza
Sure, this pizza was created with adult taste buds in mind, but it easily becomes kid friendly with a few easy swaps. Instead of goat cheese, try calcium-rich mozzarella which also wins points for its fun, stretch ability. Trade out arugula for ham for ham to add protein.  Slice thin and keep in the fridge for an easy heat-and-eat snack.

Grab ‘n go Fusion single serve packs
In a pinch, our new Fusion packs put healthy after-school snacks at anyone’s fingertips. Certified Organic and made with sulfur-free organic fruit, they’re perfect way to satisfy your kid’s sweet tooth without overdoing it on empty calories. Keep a few packs in the car and let kids choose a favorite next time they need a little something.