HEALTHY SNACK TIME TIPS FROM CHRISTINE COPPA
This month I have been sharing with you many great ways to introduce your child to healthy eating and how you can include more foods that are nutritious in your diets for National Nutrition month.
“Christine Coppa, the wildly popular mom blogger and Yoplait Kids spokesperson is best known for her Mama's Boy blog at Parenting.com and as the author of Rattled! available at Amazon.com
ME. What is your number one snack time tip?
CHRISTINE. Try to offer variety and involve your child in the snack selection when you’re out shopping. I try to keep up with JD’s changing tastes, so I’m always seeking out new ways to provide wholesome snacks my son will love.
ME. As a busy mom, how do you make sure that YOU are eating healthy, too?
CHRISTINE. I’m careful about what I buy when I go grocery shopping. I don’t buy a lot of junk food, which means that when I do find time to eat, I usually something wholesome. I always go to the store with a list, and I never shop when JD and I are hungry! I think it’s a good idea to go in with a game plan – you’ll save money and make better choices.
ME. How do you make sure you’re teaching good habits?
CHRISTINE. We go to the local farmer’s market once a week for fruits and veggies. It’s indoors so we can shop there year-round. I give JD his own basket and encourage him to pick out his favorite fruits and veggies. His basket is usually filled with green apples, a crate of cherry tomatoes, bananas and carrots. Also, I think it’s important to eat when he does – when JD sees me having a healthy snack, he wants to do the same.
ME. We tend to fall into a snack rut at our house. How do you keep snack time interesting?
CHRISTINE. I definitely try to make snack time fun for JD. For example, I’ll use fun cookie cutters to cut whole grain toast into new shapes, or turn apple slices into ‘cars’ (with some strategic cut-outs) that zoom across the table before they’re eaten.
These days JD’s favorite snack is Yoplait Kids yogurt. While JD loves the fun characters, like Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars, I feel good about giving it to him because it has 25% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurt and is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D.
ME. Do you have any tips for sneaking vegetables into snacks for kids?
CHRISTINE. Well, JD loves being in the driver’s seat when it comes to snack options so I make sure I have tons of choices for him. I pack a variety of healthy snacks in his lunchbox, such as apple slices and cheese sticks, or yogurt, and cherry tomatoes or grapes (he likes to use the yogurt as a dip, making fruits and veggies more fun to eat).His teachers always encourage him to pick what he wants.
The other night I asked JD to help me make a big dinner salad. I had all of the veggies chopped and he got a real kick out of tossing carrots, peppers and cucumbers into the bowl of lettuce. He even gobbled up a big bowl of salad since he was the chef who made it. Whenever I let JD help prepare a meal or snack he’s always willing to try it and usually eats it all!
ME. What is your favorite snack to give to JD when you want to refuel him on a sluggish day?
CHRISTINE. Kids get cranky when they’re hungry. Knowing this, I definitely make sure that snack time is a priority. My son loves all of the usual kid staples like raisins, crackers, carrots with hummus, cheese-flavored rice cakes, frozen juice ice pops, cheese sticks and yogurt. I try to keep him on a fairly regular schedule and give him snacks with protein and fiber. I also make sure he has a little something to eat every couple of hours.
*Yoplait Kids has 9 grams of sugar per 3oz. The leading kids’ yogurt has 13 grams of sugar per 3oz.
The prize pack is full of goodies such as coupon to try a four pack of Yoplait Kids free, a bouncy ball, scavenger hunt card game and more.