Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That burgeoning number means far too many of our youth are facing a slew of risk factors ranging from cardiovascular disease and diabetes to high cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s not heartening news, but it’s not a problem we can’t solve. As a parent, you play a big role in teaching your kids good eating habits—but Santa can play an even bigger one. Instead of sticking to the status quo and letting “Santa” toss candy into your kiddo’s stocking, get creative and seek out healthier options that are low in sugar, free of high-fructose corn syrup, and made with organic ingredients. Here are five great ideas to get you started.
Photo: Andrejs Zemdega/Getty Images
Plum Organics Apple Snapster Crunch’ola
Plum Organics individual mini granola packets—perfect for tiny hands—have no artificial flavors, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no trans fats. They’re also packaged in BPA-free recycled materials. With silly names like Apple Snapster and Peanutty Pretzel, they’re kid-friendly through and through.
Photo: Plum Organics
Tasty Brands Fruit Snacks
It's easy to enjoy a treat that’s GMO-free, pesticide-free, and made with no artificial flavors or high-fructose corn syrup no matter what age you are. So toss a couple packets into your kid’s stocking—and save a few for yourself too.
Photo: Tasty Brands
Little Duck Tiny Fruits
You can sneak a little fruit into your kids’ holiday loot with Little Duck’s Tiny Fruits. Made from 100-percent organic fruit and no added sugar, these treats will give your kiddos a nutritional fix—to quell their sweet tooth—without adding a bunch of junk to their diets.
Photo: Lucky Duck
Clif Kid Organic Zbar
Winter break means sledding and snowball fights galore. Give your kids the energy they need to play hard (and stay out of your hair) with Clif Kid Organic Zbars. Each bar has 12 essential vitamins and minerals, no high-fructose corn syrup, and is comprised of 95-percent organic ingredients. Plus, even though they’re available in delicious kid-friendly flavors, they come in at only 120 calories—loads less than a candy bar.
Photo: Clif Bar
Stretch Island Fruit Leather (Organic)
Sometimes, getting kids to eat well is about making healthful foods fun to eat. Stretch Island Organic Fruit Leather does just that: It’s chewy, sweet, and delicious, but has none of the questionable ingredients that most kids’ fruit snacks come with. With treats like this, your kids won’t miss the junky stuff.
A sucker for sustainable agriculture and a good farmers market, Megan likes writing about food almost as much as eating it. If you don't want to know what's in your fruit/milk/meat, don't invite her to lunch.@babybokchoy | TakePart.com