Ask on Inquiring Moms

Basically anything found within one of the four major food groups is probably going to be a healthy option. Whole foods that have less processing generally will be healthier as processed items such as cheeses, pre-made frozen snacks or junk foods often are higher in fat and sodium and sugar and usually contain higher levels of preservatives and/or other chemical additives.

Think about things generally found around the periphery of your supermarket or foods that your great-grandparents would have eaten (i.e. fruits and veggies, meat 1 or meat substitutes 2 , eggs, cheese or yogurt, whole grain breads, bagels and crackers).

Some ideas:

  • Diced fruit and vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Whole wheat toast or bagel with cheese or peanut butter
  • Boiled eggs
  • Low fat yogurt 3
  • Pita and humus
  • Homemade pizza snacks (sauce, toppings and cheese on top of a pita or crackers toasted in the oven)

The American Association of Pediatrics as a great info page [1]

1 Some processed meats like hotdogs or coldcuts can be very high in fats, sodium and preservatives so check the labels if you are concerned.

2 Tofu, veggie dogs and healthier options like turkey bacon can offer your kids the protein they need without the additional sodium and saturated fats of processed meat.

3 Younger children and toddlers are okay with reasonable amounts of higher-fat content dairy products as their bodies need the additional calories for growth and development but older children and adolescents can gradually switch over to lower-fat products.

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