(ARA) - The new year is a great time for families to make a fresh start. Families can now reflect on eating habits and resolve to start the year with a smarter plate.
Finding snacks that fit into a new food plan is not easy, and eating between meals is often a reason why families fall short of their promise to eat better. In fact, Americans often turn to decadent treats throughout the day. And with today's busy households, kids just aren't getting adequate levels of vitamins and minerals.
So, how can parents face the challenge to improve the family's eating habits while finding treats that everyone will actually want to eat? The good news is snacking can complement any healthy lifestyle plan. Today's families can find success with a more general, practical approach to snacking.
Focus on current eating habits and adopt these simple tips now to get ready for the new year.
Satisfy with healthier options
Kids love their sweet treats. But in order to keep fruits and vegetables viable options for snack time, steer toward foods like oranges, tomatoes or baby carrots. Or top cereal or granola with their favorite fruit for added fiber. These are simple, yet delicious, suggestions that everyone will expect as a regular option during snack time over the long term.
Choose nutrient-rich favorites
Snacks can not only taste good but be nutritious too, according to Mike Bloom, vice president of marketing for Suncore Products. Families can replace indulgent treats that have little to no nutritional value with those packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. "It's no surprise that kids like sweet snacks, but that doesn't mean they have to satisfy their sweet tooth with empty calories. WhoNu? Nutrition Rich Cookies offer a delicious treat that look and taste just like family favorite cookies while still providing essential nutrition," Bloom says. WhoNu? Cookies are packed with more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals, plus three grams of dietary fiber in every serving.
Create a snack center
It is easier to choose healthier snacks if your refrigerator and pantry are well-stocked with foods that are tasty and nutritious. When wholesome options are easily accessible in the home, you are more likely to skip the decadent treats. Organize a snack center so kids can grab and go. Parents can track snack options, and kids can have the freedom to make sound eating choices.
Be aware of serving size
Pay attention to "better for you" snacks that offer the most nutritional value per serving. Also, encourage the family to avoid eating from the bag. Instead, become aware of portion size. Learn more about the family's favorite snacks by measuring them out and checking the nutrition labels. Eventually, you'll be able to better understand portions and know just how much to serve.
Interest them in shopping
Shop around and stock your kitchen with a variety of foods. Minimize the number of empty calorie snacks you purchase. Get the entire family involved by allowing the kids to help choose which snacks should fill your shopping cart. Have them create a list of snack items, and use the time to talk about nutrition.
Coupled with a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables, snacks can complement any healthy lifestyle plan. Changing old habits can be difficult. But it is an attainable goal. With small and simple changes, a smarter snack resolution is easier than you think.
For more smart, easy and family-friendly snack ideas, visit www.whonucookies.com or find WhoNu? Cookies on Facebook to exchange New Year's resolution tips with other fans.