Winter has officially settled in with grey skies, colder than cold mornings, and a light coating of snow on the ground. Everything from leaving the house and outfitting against the temperatures to not raiding the comfort food cabinet adds to grey and overcast mood. This is the time of year that I reach many times a day for a cup of coffee or sugary snack in an effort to jolt awake and keep going….and, then I feel yucky. Downright yucky. There is no other way to describe it.
I know that it is not good for me, and definitely not good for my kids to just grab junk in the winter because it is easy and fast and convenient. Winter screams hot chocolate with whipped cream and cookies. While I love those 2 things, I can’t have them every afternoon and neither can the boys, so it is a constant struggle to satisfy myself and the boys while making sure it is the right choice. Boo.
Not to mention, I feel like I have to keep so many different options on me. One snack for me and others for the boys because of different tastes and needs, and it gets to be a big pain. Just the effort spent on procuring and keeping in stock what I need is a big pain in the rear. Dr. Sheila Dean, Nutritionist concurs: Yes, it truly is a struggle. Moms today are faced with so many options and what’s worse, there are many snacks that pose as being healthy but are really nutrition impostors. My favorite snacks are those that are easily accessible (meaning you don’t have to drive to a specialty store to buy it), the label should have easy to understand/read ingredients and it should be healthy!
I can totally get behind the easily accessible AND readable part and asked Sheila for some suggestions.
1. Fresh fruit and veggies… but, here’s the thing. Mom’s need to buy them and have them either already sliced and ready to go so grabbing it out of the fridge is easy! I like to put them in clear tupperware and have them at eye level in our fridge. Makes it so easy!
2. Something that you can just throw in your purse because you’re busy picking up and dropping off your kids or you just have to run around town a lot is a bar called the KIND healthy snack bars. I’ve been recommending these for years now because they are super tasty, are easy to find in the grocery store (even in Starbucks!) and with its clear package, no artificial anything, high protein, high fiber, low sugar nutrition profile, it’s your best choice next to the actual fruit growing off a tree!
3. Veggies such as broccoli florets and sliced red bell peppers dipped in hummus is another favorite. Notice I mentioned veggies and not crackers.. only because if you’re trying to watch your weight, eating starchy crackers will not get you there.
4. Sliced apples with natural peanut butter
5. String cheese with a bunch of grapes
6. Fruit and yogurt smoothies
7. Greek yogurt topped with KIND healthy grains which is a blend of 5 different types of gluten-free grains and super delicious!
I thought, easy enough – right? I also asked Sheila about my requirements versus my kids’ needs and how that all fit into the equation.
Sheila explained: Mom’s really need to be sure they are not displacing key vitamins and minerals with all the coffee and sugary snacks [uh-ummm – did you read what I wrote earlier] that are easy to snack on. Also, it’s really important that she focus on getting her B-vitamins because stress [who me?] just eats through all the B-vitamins so quickly. Kids really need to be sure that they are getting those precious MINERALS in their diet. This is easy to do if you’re eating fruit, nuts and seeds and of course, KIND bars.
Well, seems as though I will be off to the store today, and what I like most about this statement is I can grab all this stuff in one store making my day a little less hectic. Well, that and I can stop at Starbucks for a KIND bar and a small coffee.
Disclaimer: Thanks to KIND Bars for introducing me to Dr. Sheila Dean as this was a big topic of interest to me already as I am sure you know –
DON’T be SHY- add something to the list below!