Children enjoy snacking at home or day care in Silver Spring, MD. Many foods we eat, especially those sold to kids, have sugar hidden in them. Even though the study isn’t clear, most parents say that when their kids have had too much sugar, they act wild, misbehave, and don’t listen.
But you can’t just tell kids that certain foods are good or bad because we are surrounded by things that are high in sugar. They are a part of our culture, and we must teach our kids how to deal with them smartly. When we tell kids that certain foods are bad or don’t let them have them, we often make them want those foods even more.
You might not be used to flipping labels, but it’s really easy to do when you know what you’re looking for. Sometimes, it’s easy to cut down on sugar if you compare brands or think about making the same items you find in packages on your own. Caregivers at a Silver Spring child care center have found that recreating these same prepackaged snacks cuts back on sugar and keeps kids fuller longer.
You can find the number of grams near the bottom of the nutritional sticker on the back or side of any package. Some parents use 10 grams of sugar for a baseline, while others prefer to go as low as 5 grams. There is no magical number as to what you should look for. Only you can decide what is right for your family.
Fruit should also be included on this list because it can provide children who are fussy eaters with at least some of the sweet flavor they adore. Even though sugar is a naturally occurring component of several fruits, it can still be high in the fruit itself. Additionally, the body digests sugar considerably better when it is combined with protein and fiber.
Smoothies are a great way to clean out your fridge and freezer or get more out of your snack, especially when it’s hot outside or after a sweaty game. Choose drinks that have little or no sugar added. Milk or non-dairy milk that hasn’t been sweetened adds softness without adding sugar. To make a power smoothie, you need fruits and veggies, kefir or yogurt, and a healthy fat source like chia seeds, flax, or nut butter. For more nutrition, you can also add whole grains like oats or iron-fortified oatmeal, which you can find in the baby line. Smoothies don’t just fill kids up with good things; they also keep them hydrated and give them a much-needed energy boost.
Want to give the kids a treat that will make them happy? At food time, try giving them frozen fruit pops. Choose treats made with only fruit and fruit juices to cut down on the amount of extra sugar. Or, you could just make your own and have the kids help! If you freeze yogurt squeezes, you can make a tasty, protein-rich snack that kids will enjoy. Fruit pops also help us stay hydrated and cool down our bodies in the summer.
Muffins are a simple way to make sure you have a whole-grain, vegetable-filled snack you can eat all week. You can add vitamins and fiber to these snacks by mixing in shredded zucchini, carrots, pureed sweet potatoes, or fresh fruit. Have kids spread their favorite nut butter on a warm muffin to add even more nutrients.
If raw fruits and veggies aren’t enough, freeze-dried produce is a great snack option that usually doesn’t have any added sugar. You can get your kids to eat more veggies by giving them dehydrated broccoli, edamame, okra, beets, and kale. Raspberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, peaches, and other freeze-dried fruits are tasty and contain vitamins that kids will like.
Apple nachos are a great snack for children and a fantastic breakfast treat. It’s simple to make the filling with apples and peanut butter, and it’s healthy. It can be topped with many nuts for crunchiness and is rich in fiber, protein, and vitamins.
Fruits include a lot of fiber and are a great source of vitamins. On a hot summer day, this naturally sweet combination of fresh fruits and orange-flavored yogurt might be a nutritious treat at child care in Silver Spring, MD.
You will need a medium banana, yogurt, granola, and the fruits your child prefers to eat to make this delicious and visually appealing snack. This straightforward recipe can be modified in several ways, one of which involves using low-sugar cereal and almonds. Even a more formal breakfast can benefit from this alternative snack.
A dip made with strained yogurt is high in protein and goes well with many kinds of vegetables. Pour the yogurt through a sieve to make yogurt cheese. You need diced red or orange bell peppers, cucumber pieces, and yogurt cheese for this recipe. You can put this cheesy yogurt mix on slices of cucumber, or you can make little flowers and put the dip in them.
For this snack, you’ll need avocado to make guacamole and cherry or grape tomatoes. After making the guacamole, scoop out the middle of the tomatoes and fill with the guac. Grape tomatoes are the ideal size for snacking, but you can use bigger tomatoes for a more filling meal.
For this quick snack, you need a cut stalk of celery, a lot of peanut butter, and raisins. Sugar and veggie oil shouldn’t be added to the peanut butter. The snack is ready when the stalks are topped with butter and raisins. It has the right amount of carbs, protein, and fat.
Your child needs snacks at home and day care in Silver Spring, MD. Regular healthy snacks can help kids get all the nutrients they need to grow and develop. Snacking does not have to be linked to bad eating habits. If you make your kids healthy, nutrient-dense snacks at home, it can satisfy their hunger and help them learn to like different fruits and veggies.
MCCA has been recognized by the Maryland State Legislature for its commitment to Montgomery County issued a quality programs and special needs child care Proclamation in 2016 to MCCA for its commitment to Montgomery County child care for more than 50 years. MCCA was also selected as a 2018 nonprofit finalist for a MOXIE Award for boldness and innovation
MCCA is the oldest nonprofit licensed child care provider in Montgomery County and started its work in 1968 as a Community Action Project of the War on Poverty. Recognizing the need for quality child care programs in their neighborhoods, a group of local activists formed an association to establish centers in Montgomery County that would serve a diverse population and establish high standards for child care. Now, more than 50 years later, MCCA’s dedicated and expertly trained staff continue their tradition of providing high quality child care and play-based education for children.
Families with school aged children who can afford their child care expenses during the school year often struggle to afford the all-day programs they need when school is out for the summer. The Richard Krampf Summer Adventures Scholarship Fund was established to help provide children a safe and stimulating place to spend their weeks when school is out. Please contact an MCCA Director for details on how to apply.