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Healthy kids snack on the go

There are bathtimes that go well in our house, and there are bathtimes that make me want to put my head in my very expensive blender. Tonight, I had the audacity to separate Belle from her dancing monkey. This was a pretty stupid decision given that after 7pm, we walk along the knife edge of the terrible twos. An even more stupid decision was to buy her a dancing monkey in the first place. Add that to the fact that I bought Chloe a similar monkey, that dances to an equally obnoxious but different tune, and I am positively certifiable. Setting the two off at once is about as relaxing as poking yourself in the eye. Follow it all with “it’s MY monkey’s turn”, “no, it’s MYYYYYYYY monkey’s turn” (multiplied by 1000) for some extra fun parenting.

Nevertheless, despite the tears and the chaos, I know they’ll bounce into our bedroom tomorrow morning without a care in the world. They will also be naked. (It terrifies me how much my kids love being naked.) But, naked and utterly carefree, they will play and chat and annoy each other and forgive each other with all the abandon of regular kids. They will also have forgotten that the previous night I was a Mummy-From-Hell, or even if they do remember, they will love me anyway. The endless capacity for my kids to see the best in me is the most incredible and humbling reward.

You know, if I really think about it, Belle’s monkey meltdown, probably all comes back to being tired and hungry. Isn’t that so often the case? I’m usually very on top of the snack situation, but today I totally missed the mark. Ironically enough, I spent some time this afternoon answering the following e-mail. I’m a huge believer in the “good food, good mood” connection, so I will be stocking up tomorrow. In the meantime, I have some batteries to remove from two very annoying monkeys….!

Question: “Are there healthy pre-packaged snacks available to purchase in Bermuda? I know pre-packaged and healthy is kind of an oxymoron but there must be something here! In Canada we can get baby carrots, trail mix etc, and I'm looking for something that a 12-year-old can grab going out the door.”

Answer: There are tons of healthy snacks on the go available here, you just have to know where to look! As it stands, you’ll find different things in different places as each grocery store has their own set of resources and suppliers. You’ll also find that things go in and out of stock quickly and that there can be a “drought”! But this list should provide you with enough ideas to keep you going. Of course, providing some homemade snacks is a great option too, so try and find the balance.

Kids Cliff Bars — Marketplace (organic aisle). Flavours include chocolate brownie and peanut butter. They are fairly sweet but also packed full of fibre and some protein, which provides a more sustained energy release. Kids used to Oreos only might find these a bit of a leap, but they generally go down well.

KIND or Eat Natural bars — If your 12-year-old likes nuts then these are a great option! They are minimally processed and super tasty, with lots of variety. Find the KIND bars at Supermart, Down to Earth and Lindo’s. The Eat Natural bars are in Miles, Phoenix stores and some of the gas stations.

Nature’s Path granola bars — I really like these as they tend to be lower in sugar and higher in protein, good fats and fibre than either the Nature Valley bars (OK in a pinch) or the below average (in my opinion) Quaker Oat or /Special K bars. Find them at Down to Earth and Lindo’s Devonshire (organic section.)

Mary’s Gone Crackers range — this is one of my favourite snack-brands. These are naturally gluten-free (without any weird stuff) and full of alternative and nutrient rich wholegrains and seeds. My kids love the “Sticks & Twigs” (disclaimer — some kids HATE them!) and any of the chocolate cookies.

Lentil chips — you might not want to call these “lentil” chips, if you are trying to market these to your kids. But despite the lentil origin, these are tasty, crunchy and a little bit salty, with way less saturated fat than a regular potato chip. There are a few different brands out there — but the winner in my view are the lentil chips from the Mediterranean Company. You can buy them sporadically at Miles, Supermart, Marketplace and Lindos. Try dividing the bag into smaller Ziplocs to keep them portion-size friendly and good for on-the-go.

Eden Organic Trail Mix — Marketplace, Supermart (organic aisles.) If you roast nuts or seeds at a really high temperature you run the risk of turning the good fats bad. The Eden brands are gently roasted and mixed with sulphite-free, naturally sweetened dried fruit. For an organic brand, the prices are very reasonable.

Baby carrots — there have been rare sightings of baby carrots in Bermuda. Occasionally they do make their way on to the shelves! If these are a favourite in your house, just keep an eye out for them. Previously spotted in Lindo’s and Miles.

DIY — if you can, do-it-yourself as much as possible. Try visiting my Facebook page for some great recipes for very portable snacks — the energy bites, banana and pecan flapjack, and banana bread would be especially good. Just package these up in advance so they are ready to go from the fridge. Also keep a supply of home popped organic popcorn, fresh fruit, veggie sticks and baby tomatoes handy. Organic Greek yoghurts and cheese sticks can work too (do go organic though to avoid growth hormone). Every kid has different preferences, so pick what works. I make a trail mix from Annie’s wholewheat bunnies, pistachios, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries (Eden — Supermart) which the kids love. You could use any nuts/seeds, and add pine nuts or coconut shavings too.

The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the Managing Director of Natural Ltd and a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the U.K. Please note that she is not a Registered Dietitian. For details, please go to www.natural.bm or call 236-7511. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda

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Published May 03, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 02, 2013 at 6:36 pm)

Healthy kids snack on the go

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