Food Swaps: Alternatives to Kids Unhealthy Favourites
While children may prefer some common unhealthy foods, there are many simple, healthy swaps that can improve their diet significantly and help develop positive food habits. Here are some simple alternatives that you can buy on your next trip to the supermarket:
Switch high-fibre white bread to wholemeal or multigrain bread
Children will eat the bread that you stock at home, so if you buy high-fibre white bread, they will keep wanting and asking for it. When it comes to bread, while high-fibre white is a better option than plain white bread, it is not a healthy option in comparison to wholemeal or multigrain bread. Wholegrain loaves of bread contain more nutrients and are always the preferred option when it comes to any kind of cereal or grain.
Switch fruit yoghurt to natural yoghurt
It’s always a challenge to find a children’s yoghurt that does not contain added sugar — with the average yoghurt tub containing over two teaspoons of sugar. The greater sugar intake children have in their diet, the higher their sugar craving will be. For this reason, a better option nutritionally is a natural yoghurt served with fresh fruit.
Switch ice-cream to frozen yoghurt
Of course, small children love ice-cream, they love any sweet food just as most adults do but the best thing about yoghurt is that it can be frozen into individual ice-blocks and is a much more nutritious option than ice-cream. If you are looking for a little more sweetness than plain yoghurt offers, try adding your own fruit or a little honey or try some of the new lower sugar yoghurts that mean kids will still have a treat minus the extra sugar.
Switch dried fruit to frozen fruit
Dried fruit is a popular option and can be a concentrated source of sugars for small children. A much lower sugar option that retains the nutrients that fruit offers is to simply freeze fruits such as grapes and bananas for children to enjoy as an icy sweet treat without the energy density of dried fruits that are easier to overeat. Frozen pieces of bananas, grapes cut in half and berries are all delicious frozen.
Switch biscuits to homemade treats
The mix of sugar, oil and white flour that most biscuits are made of adds little nutritionally to the diets of small children. On the other hand, Mini Ham and Cheese Savoury Muffins, Bliss Balls and Banana Bread are all simple to make options that can be easily frozen. And, they are much healthier than processed packaged snack foods.