Let's Start by Switching Snacks
I found that one of the hardest parts of my transition from “junked” to healthy was snacktime. As a mother of four, I was always on the fly. It was one thing to put healthy food on my kids’ plates at mealtimes or even to pack them healthy lunches. But snacks were supposed to be easy! And we relied on the chemical cocktail more during snacktime than at any other.
As with everything else, I made the transition in a series of baby steps. Here are some of the little changes we made in our house:
Swimming in a Sea of Goldfish
Step 1: Replace the multi-colored goldfish (you know, the green, red and orange ones!) with the bright orange goldfish
Step 2: Replace the orange goldfish with the uncolored version or pretzel versions
From Chips to Dips
Our kids loved chips and I hated to deprive them. But I just couldn’t stand to see them crunching those fluorescent orange deep-fried chemical compounds every day after school.
Now we occasionally have a bag of chips as a special treat, but mostly my kids dip crackers, rice crackers, or pretzels into ketchup, mustard, yogurt, or honey. Sure, there are chemicals in their dips, too, but far fewer than if they scarfed down a bag of chips. Remember, it’s not a perfect world—but it can be a better one! I can also dream of the day that they ask for carrots and celery sticks to crunch on instead of chips, can’t I?
Make your own Snack Packs (and get your kids to help!)
Step 1: Tell your kids why you’re not buying the prepackaged versions anymore: too many chemicals and you love your kids too much to feed them that.
Step 2: Get creative and make your own snack packs. Enlist the help of your kids. I tried to mix four healthy choices into the bag, making the fifth one the bonus feature! For example: 1) raisins, 2) nuts (if you can swing it in an allergy-free house), 3) some pretzels, 4) some little crackers (from a box with a short list of ingredients that you can pronounce) and for 5) maybe a chocolate chip or two (or if you’re like me and hate throwing out food, you may want to use up the candy-coated cereal here or the M&Ms you still have or the yogurt raisins that you didn’t realize were coated in rBGH-laden dairy).
Step 3: Make a dozen or so little bags—with your little ones helping—and stash them for the week. Done! Quick, easy, and no chemicals. Give yourself a hug!
Write a Letter: Give Kids A Healthy School Lunch !
Do you know that the USDA provides 31 million American children a lunch each day? But due to a lack of resources, the USDA is only able to provide the cheapest, most processed foods for our kids? To help bring healthier foods to the lunchroom, you can write a letter. Click here to learn more!