Do You Make These Mistakes When Giving Your Kids a Snack?

nachosI was waiting for the ferry yesterday when I noticed a group of kids around me all wearing red tee shirts. They were team shirts and the kids ranged from around 7 to 13.  The ferry was a little late so the mothers with the group decided they would go to the store for snacks.

Now, we know I’m a food snob but there are some good choices available in the ferry terminal. Unfortunately they didn’t pick them. There was a day glow green drink, bright orange cheese, one of those pre-wrapped cheese buns that is full of trans-fat and high fructose corn syrup and, of course, candy.

I thought of talking to them a bit but figured any food comments would not be well received by this group of parents. Sometimes I will say something and other times I just mind my own business. Why waste my breath on something that will not be heard?

But I have some regret, hence the blog post. Why on earth do we feed ourselves and these budding young athletes crap? Food coloring, sugar, trans-fat and who the heck knows what else is not food and it certainly doesn’t support their bodies. They became a little hyper pretty quickly after the sugar rush. I didn’t notice them on the ferry but from experience I’d say there was a not so fun sugar crash a little while later. How are they supposed to excel in school or sports without having proper nutrition?

I’m all for a treat but snacks should be like a mini meal. String cheese, hard boiled eggs, salads, fruit, yogurt and sandwiches were all available. Any of them would have been a better choice than glow in the dark substances masquerading as foods. And if these foods were treats, there were still better options available.

I have seen pop tarts and donuts given out at track meets. It’s cheap and gives the kids a quick buzz. There are way better inexpensive options. Give them a banana or an apple, they’re portable and cheap. If we don’t teach them healthy habits who will?

Wondering what some better portable snacks are? Grab a copy of my 20 Tasty Ideas for Snacks.