My first post about eating healthy foods tackled and solved our breakfast cravings, but snacks can be a totally different story. When we started our journey I knew this would be the hardest category to crack. Let’s face it, the phrase “eating healthy snacks” and teens don’t ever go together. I’m happy to report the problem was practically solved with my new besties – Amy, Annie and Angie! First let’s talk about where we were before we met our new friends.
Healthy Eating Snack Challenge
I’d been reading about focusing my shopping efforts on the outer ring of a grocery store to avoid processed foods commonly stocked in the middle. I decided to take a gander at what I’d find in the dreaded middle aisles of my local Stop & Shop, which leads to today’s challenge. Go into any grocery store, walk down the chip/cracker aisle, pick up a box or bag and look at the ingredients. Tell me you don’t need a dictionary or chemist to explain them. Next, pick up an item from your kitchen cabinet (that’s not organic) and create the same product at home. Here’s one from our cupboard:
Keebler Toasteds Crackers:
Ingredients: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid, Soybean Oil (with TBHQ for freshness)…Toasted Defatted Wheat Germ, Malt Extract…Annatto for Color, Soy Lecithin.
I don’t have any Toasted Defatted Wheat Germ in my kitchen. I’m guessing you don’t either.
Right about now you are probably thinking this chick is one of those crazy health food fanatics who only eats grass grown in organic soil she grew in her backyard. NOT! My first love was a plate of chicken nachos and a jumbo margarita – and I’m still in love today! The convincing sign for me was when family and friends with serious illnesses changed their diet and immediately began feeling better, reducing chronic pain and keeping serious diseases in remission. The three examples I have to draw upon from my loved ones are breast cancer, Mitochondrial Disease and Hashimoto’s.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that each person (independent of one another) found eating healthy foods was an easy change that has improved their quality of life.
I’ll give it to you straight, making the transition to preservative-free food choices isn’t easy and will take some planning. Everything worth doing comes at a price. Here’s the facts:
Good News/Bad News
Good: You don’t need Google research to identify the ingredients included in your snack options for tweens/teens.
Bad: Your vocabulary won’t grow as a result of reading food labels!
Good: You don’t need to stick to apples, berries and spinach as your “go to” munchies.
Bad: The cost of some of your “go to” munchies will increase.
Good: Your food will taste so much better!
Bad: It will take you longer to prepare your food – without a doubt.
Good: You can include your teen in food prep to help get buy-in and get them to step away from the iPhone for a few minutes.
Bad: Eventually they will get bored and turn right back to the device that is permanently stuck to their five fingers.
Good: You can have chips…and dip them too.
Bad: There is no bad when it comes to eating chips!!!
Now it’s time to give a shout out to the new strong women in my life who have transformed our snack experience: Amy, Annie and Angie — you girls rock! Let’s take a look at what these lovely ladies (and others) have created to keep our teens on the healthy eating track.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
RSG’s Top 10 Teen-Approved Healthy Foods (Snack/Lunch Edition)
Archer Farms Potato Chips (from Target)
Organic salsa (found in any super market organic section)
Annie’s Organic Friends Bunny Grahams
Annie’s Extra Cheesy Cheddar Bunnies
Amy’s Macaroni & Cheese
Archer Farms Chips
Angie’s Boom Chica Pop Sweet Kettle Corn
Annie’s Organic Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Applegate Natural Homestyle Breaded Chicken Tenders
Steaz Organic Iced Green Tea (in several varieties)
Happy shopping. Hope your kids enjoy eating these new healthy snacks. Next time: Clean Fast Food Choices (I promise we have some great options!).