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FitFactor_Healthy Eating

              Our FitFactor Team teaching kids how to prepare healthy snack options, Symposium 2013

When considering snacks for your kids, the end of summer doesn’t have to signal the end of healthy eating.  Although it is a natural tendency to grab whatever is convenient, prepackaged foods and snacks are usually not the best choice for healthy, growing bodies.

It is especially important to eat healthy if you have a bleeding disorder because healthy nutrients can help you build strong muscle, keep your bones strong and healthy, and help you feel better faster if you have a bleed or get sick.

There are a lot of great tasting, nutritious options for back to school snacks.  Sometimes, especially with younger kids, the key is to get creative.  Snacks are a great way for kids to get the necessary nutrients their bodies need and meet the recommendations from the USDA’s MyPlate.

Here are some ideas for back to school snacks:

  • Celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins
  • Frozen grapes
  • String cheese & whole grain crackers
  • Lean turkey or ham & whole grain crackers
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Apple or apples slices with peanut butter
  • Hard- boiled eggs
  • Low-fat or Greek yogurt (can add fresh fruit)
    FitFactor_Healthy_Kids

                 Kids learning how to make trail mix, Symposium 2014

  • Hummus with various veggies
  • Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds
  • Bananas (can add peanut butter & mini chocolate chips)
  • Graham crackers
  • Fruit & yogurt smoothies
  • Applesauce– save money by making your own (see recipe below)
  • Various seasonal fresh fruit
  • Air popped popcorn
  • Various seasonal fresh vegetables with low fat yogurt dip
  • Whole grain, low-fat, low sugar granola bars
  • Fruit cups
  • Cottage cheese
  • Lean meat and cheese roll-ups
  • Whole wheat pretzels
  • Kale chips

Try to offer fruits and vegetables as snacks first.  Most kids do not get the recommended amounts
of these foods and generally they offer the most health benefits.  Be creative and offer fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables with low-fat dips or peanut butter.  Cutting or making fruit and vegetables into fun shapes can also be a clever way to make fruits and vegetables more appealing to kids.

When considering beverages to offer with snacks, low-fat milk and water are the best options.  Try to avoid sugary drinks.  An occasional glass of 100% fruit juice will provide a serving of fruit.  Avoid juice that is not 100% juice as it is usually high in sugar and offers little or no other nutritional value.

Having a variety of healthy snacks on hand and offering your child a choice will help teach your child what healthy snacks are and give some individuality and ownership to what they choose to eat. Remember to be a good role model and choose to eat healthy too.  Stay healthy and strong together.

Learn more about the USDA’s MyPlate recommended guidelines.

Homemade Applesauce Recipe (easy)

*This recipe was submitted by a mother of a child with a bleeding disorder. Share your healthy recipe to our FitFactor team at: FitFactor@hemophiliafed.org. 

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 apples (of your favorite variety), chopped into ½ in pieces (leaving the peel on provides more fiber and vitamins and makes the recipe even easier.)
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ C of water

applesauce cover

Directions:

  • Place the apples, water and cinnamon in a pot on the stove.  Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Simmer the apples for about 30 minutes, until soft, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat andmash with a potato masher (applesauce will be chunky).  For finer applesauce, mix with a blender (immersion blenders work great) or a food processor.

Sprinkle with cinnamon (if desired).  If you prefer a little sweeter applesauce, stir in a small amount of pure maple syrup.  Keep prepared applesauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.[/glossary_exclude]

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