Junk food is bad.
Wait, what? Really?
Itâ€™s a no-brainer mantra that we grew up with and that hasnâ€™t change much since. As a parent, youâ€™re the best judge of how sugar-loaded, processed foods can adversely affect your kids.
But when your kid deserves a treat and you want to avoid the french fries and candy bars, what do you do?
Try switching out these junk food faves for their tasty treat counterparts:
- Microwave Â Popcorn – Organic Stove Top Popcorn
- Try these simple steps for making stovetop popcorn. You can use healthier oil options, or no oil at all.
- Candy – Dried Fruit
- Sweet and full of fiber.
- Be sure to avoid candied fruits, though, which are much sweeter and have much higher levels of sugar.
- Chocolate Bars – organic dark chocolate
- Dark chocolate has flavonoids that act as antioxidants.
- It tastes awesome!
- Chocolate stimulates endorphin production, which makes you happy.
- The serotonin in chocolate can act as an anti-depressant.
- Chocolate contains theobromine, caffeine and other stimulants which give you a quick perk of energy.
- Cake – Low Fat Wheat Banana Bread
- French Fries – Sweet Potato Fries
- Sweet potatoes have a wider variety of nutrients at higher values, like vitamin A, but you should still avoid eating them often. Fries are fries and are deep fried, typically in the same vat of canola oil, depending on what restaurant you go to.
- Energy Drinks -Low-Calorie Sports Drinks
- Cut down on sugar and caffeine.
- Try diluting a sports drink with one part water to two parts sports drink or even half and half, to cut down on sugar while keeping flavor.
- Potato Chips- Whole Wheat Pita Pockets
- Potato chips are the anti-christ of the health movement. Laden with high-sodium seasonings and possibly cancer-causing acrylamide, itâ€™s best to avoid the chips all together. Try pita pockets instead. Dip them in hummus for added flavor and protein.
- Soda – Mineral Water or Setlzer
- Feed your craving for the fizz with seltzer water. Add lime or lemon for a boost of vitamin C and flavor.
- For the daring, mix seltzer water with a splash of juice for a fuller flavor without going off the deep end into tooth-rotting soda pop.
- Ice Cream – Yogurt
- Try it frozen on a hot day, or normally to get the the creamy, decadent dairy you want without the added sugar and fat.
- Sugary Cereals – Oatmeal
- Get recipe information for tasty, awesome ways to spice up your oatmeal.
With these replacements, youâ€™ll cut down on calories, sugar, additives, preservatives and fats while boosting nutrients.
Try these out and let us know how you like them. Donâ€™t forget to check out our previous blog post on child obesity and how to address it.
[via Menâ€™s Health]