Your Tucker Dentist — Beat the After School Munchies with Healthy Treats

 In Health

After a long school day learning and playing, your kids probably run home looking for food. It’s so tempting to just let them eat whatever they want, and packaged snacks may seem like the easiest option after your busy day on the job. Chips, cookies, soda or sugary “juice” drinks are really convenient . . . but a really bad idea, especially if you want to get your kids to do homework and avoid meltdowns.

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So what do you feed them that they’ll actually eat without putting up a fight? Here are some healthy, quick ideas to make snack time work better for you and your kids:

1. Berries – The Ultimate Fast Food!

When it comes to health, berries have a fantastic reputation, and they’re just as easy to pop in your mouth as M&Ms. Blueberries, for instance, are packed with antioxidants, called anthocyanins*, that may help keep memory sharp. That’s a big plus for your kids’ after-school brains, and can help you remember where you put your keys. Raspberries are another tasty option. They contain ellagic acid, a compound that supports overall health. In addition, all berries are great sources of fiber, a nutrient important for a healthy digestive system.

We know that kids don’t care about all of the above, but they do care about taste. Lucky for you berries are sweet, juicy and addicting. Better still, they require almost no prep — just wash ‘em and go! They truly are the ultimate fast food.

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Also think about Vitamin C: Many fruits and vegetables, including berries, oranges and cantaloupe, are excellent sources of vitamin C.

*Learn more about anthocyanins – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/

2. Out with greasy potato chips and in with . . . NEW homemade veggies chips!

Potato chip cravings don’t mess around; you really can’t eat just one. You might be tempted by slick marketing to buy processed veggie chips, which isn’t a great idea. They’re often made of mostly potato starch and food coloring, and are actually devoid of any real vegetables.

So what do you do? Easy. Skip the greasy bag of chips and make your own veggie chips from real veggies—and little else.

Try using kale, spinach, sweet potatoes or carrots (cut the sweet potatoes and carrots into thin slices). Simply mix the veggies with enough olive oil to coat them. Add salt and spices, such as garlic, pepper or whatever you know your kids like. Bake in the oven at 350° F for about 12 minutes, flip them once, and continue to bake until crispy.

Find more recipes here, http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/make-your-own-veggie-chips.

3. Cook-free fruit and cheese kabobs – Fun Food on a Stick!

Cook-free kabobs are quick to make and fun to eat! Pick some favorite sliced cheeses and fruit, and skewer them on a bamboo stick. You can even use a cookie cutter to make shapes in the cheese or firm fruit, such as apples.

If you have time, you can even grill the kabobs for added flavor and juiciness. Just put some aluminum foil on the grill and place the kabobs on it. Grill until warm on both sides, and voila! You’ve got a yummy snack that’s easy to clean up.

You can find more recipes here – http://allrecipes.com/recipe/242439/grilled-fruit-and-vegetable-kabobs/ and of course more ideas are always on Pinterest.

Snack Spring Cleaning

It may not be the easiest thing to do, but the best way to keep from eating or being tempted by junk food is to get rid of it. Toss out processed and unhealthy foods and start making snack time fun and healthy! These kid-friendly recipes can help you come up with even more healthy homemade snacks. The goal is to keep you and your kids happy and healthy. These snacks are so delicious, they will be begging for healthy food before you know it!

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Sources:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-eating-sweet-potatoes-yams-4562.html

http://www.oprah.com/food/Brownies-with-Carrot-and-Spinach

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-creamy-avocado-lassi-recipes-from-the-kitchn-202352

http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/make-your-own-veggie-chips

Dr. John Robinson provides general, cosmetic and restorative services at Embry Hills Dental Care, located in Tucker Georgia. Dentistry is constantly evolving, and Dr. Robinson’s commitment to continuing education keeps him current with the latest advances to benefit his patients.

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