Friday Favorites (Food)

You know it makes me kind of mad when I see mom’s on television and movies who feed their kids healthy foods being portrayed as controlling or uptight.  I love the movie “Bedtime Stories” but why oh why is the mom who is giving her kids constant healthy stuff portrayed as a dictator? Why go to that kind of extreme? I have a love/hate relationship with Hallmark movies, but why is the heroine somehow always eating a hamburger or other “comfort food” while the evil feminine counterpart is eating vegan seeds with her thin little hands?

I think the reason for all this unintelligent, unrealistic generalization is because other moms don’t think they can measure up. So, just like in junior high, you’re going to have the people who try to make you feel inferior because, in actuality, they themselves feel that way. So, if you are one of those moms out there that is super careful what you give your kids (especially if they have allergies), I think you’re wonderful.

My kids eat some bad stuff, I won’t lie to you, but I always want to keep introducing them to new options. I also really look up to the moms who succeed at this every single day- because it is super tough. I don’t think any mom on the planet says “no” all the time to unhealthy foods unless she absolutely has to (say there’s an allergy).  99.9% of us give in here and there because we eventually want our children to make their own choices in eating healthy as they become adults. We don’t want our kids to rebel against their healthy upbringing and go to the far side of the moon with what to put into their bodies.

The point is to keep giving them really fun, wonderful snacks and foods and watching them choose those again and again for themselves.

As a mom of two teenagers, I can tell you the snacks that my kids love (and have no idea are healthy). Here’s our list of favorite healthy snacks. Some are vegan, some allergy sensitive…

If you or your child suffers from allergies,  please double check the ingredient list because my information may be inaccurate or the ingredients may have changed.

(Click on pics for where to buy)

One of my personal favorites are YuEarth’s Organic lollipops. I have fond memories of my great uncle and aunt taking me through the bank’s drive in (I loved those sucky tubes that give you money) and the teller sending us bright blue and yellow lollipops we would crunch and turn our tongues crazy colors.  But, oh my goodness, these organic pops are so much better- you don’t even know! They are made with juice. I pick out the strawberry ones before my kids can get to them because they are my favorite. I always have a few in my purse for those moments that I need a quick boost. These are low in sugar, gluten free, peanut free, etc. They tick just about every allergy box.

Then, there’s the booty! Yes, the pirate’s booty cheddar popcorn.  Even with braces, my kids can still have these because they don’t get stuck. They are gluten free. I tend to hide a bag of “booty” in the pantry just to watch my guilty pleasure tv show on Monday nights.

Annie’s bunny crackers are my daughter’s favorite even though she is a teenager now. She always wants me to buy “the bunnies” at the store. They are made with wheat flour. She used to love (beyond love) Goldfish, but I started reading how bad they were for her and we switched to these and never looked back.

One bar that helps my blood sugar tremendously is Simply Protein. Beware peanut allergies on this one, but these are gluten free and vegan (which is crazy because the chocolate is wonderful on it). When my blood sugar crashes, these save my hide! They also remind me of the peanut butter bars Shaklee used to make- which I grew up on and loved.

Alright, so I’m going to tell you my “dirty little secret”. I have a white, bulldog cookie jar on my counter. It looks sweet and innocent with it’s light blue color and grin on his face, but it is an imposter cookie jar. It has never held cookies. It holds packets of rice protein powder. My kids stopped looking in there long ago for cookies. I’m pretty sure every grandmother on the planet would shake their heads at me. The reason the packets are in there is because I use them in smoothies. Both the vanilla and the chocolate rice protein below is great. I don’t have to put sugar or even honey in the smoothies because this protein makes them taste like a treat.

Looking for gluten free? This cereal is really good. My mom fed us really wonderful, whole foods growing up (yes, even in the seventies and eighties she was doing that), so the first time I ever had Peanut Butter Captain Crunch was at Sunday School during snack time. It was a wonderful moment. But, I have since seen the sugar content on that thing and wanted to find something comparable. These Panda Puffs are pretty close. They aren’t as peanut-buttery-gooey as the Captain’s (which I buy during the holidays), but they are great for every day.

As a teacher, I highly recommend sending your kids with two juice boxes in their lunch box. Kids get dehydrated easily and don’t drink water bottles as a rule. Two juice boxes, however, is a lot of sugar. But, these juice packets are full of goodness and low in sugar. We keep them in the mini fridge in the kid’s living room upstairs. It’s so much better than soda.

Speaking of water, when you do get your kids to drink water (that’s every meal time for us), try to get down some water with high alkalinity. It solves a lot of health issues for a lot of kiddos and it’s great for you, too. I found this kind of water helps me not to keep forming kidney stones. If you are interested in this, read some articles about it like this one.

If you can swing it financially, this is a machine that turns your tap water into high alkalized water. It’s pricey but people swear by it.

You know I have to end with something sweet. The cookies below are good. They are allergy friendly (including dairy free and gluten free).

Happy Healthing!

Please check all labels for allergy information as my information may be inaccurate or the ingredients may have changed.

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