Most kids I know are picky to some degree. At least mine are. It’s my dream that one day I’ll be able to get them to eat homemade hummus on my whole wheat fresh baked bread and nut or seed butter (peanut, almond, walnut, sunflower seed) with apples, but for now they can be pretty darn stubborn when it comes to meal time. There are plenty of days that I have to revert to good ol’ mac n cheese and hot dogs. The good news is that there are products with better quality ingredients than Kraft or Velveeta mac and cheese and Oscar Meyer hot dogs.
I strongly believe that what we eat is directly related to our short and long-term health. So why wouldn’t I want my children to eat the best foods possible? Most grocery stores have their own organic brand of mac n cheese, as well as Trader Joe's. Annie’s is a favorite brand of mine (and my kids) and they also use whole wheat noodles.
When it comes to hot dogs, I prefer to buy organic, nitrite and nitrate-free. These Applegate Farms hot dogs are available at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Some regular grocery stores now carry organic hot dogs as well. This comes from applegatefarms.com, a company that makes organic (and delicious and lower fat) hot dogs:
"During the cooking process, especially under high heat, nitrites can combine with amines, naturally present in meat, to form N-nitroso compounds or nitrosamines. These compounds are considered carcinogens."
Nitrites and Nitrates are used to cure certain meats, but there are other natural ways to cure meats, and those are the hot dogs I look for.
Snack time can also be an issue. My kids would eat snacks like goldfish and pretzels all day long if I let them. I try to buy whole grain and organic snacks whenever possible. Annie’s makes a lot of snack products. I also look for Back to Nature brand products.
Basically, I read labels looking for whole grain ingredients and I try to avoid products that contain ingredients that I can’t read or that I’ve never heard of. Also, the fewer ingredients the better.
What healthy snacks do your kids like? Please share if you have some favorites!