As mamas I know it is hard to have to choose the snacks our kids fight us for when we know they need more nutrient dense options. We give in because we are exhausted and listening to whining one more time may make us actually lose our ____. Or, because it is what they had a Susie’s house and Susie’s mom is so cool because she lets them have that snack.

Luckily today, choosing healthier alternatives to the sugar ridden option full of ingredients that were created in a lab is becoming mainstream. More and more Mamas are seeking out healthier options for their littles favorites, and more and more research is coming out showing us how choosing the healthier option makes a greater impact on our growth and development, as well as our relationship with food in the future. 

I am so excited to share some healthier alternatives so some of our littles faves, and some faves that we may want to reconsider purchasing on our next grocery run:

1. Treats and baked goods: 

- Simple Mills brand, this brand has made some amazing options to swap out our pre-mixed cupcake, muffin, cookie, and brownie mixes to! There are less than 10 ingredients in most options and 6 grams of sugar or less in most options as well. The best thing is they are SO tasty! Our little loves the pumpkin muffins and they are so easy for me to throw together. They also make pre-packages cookie options to swap out in your dessert cabinet! 

- Kodiak Cakes, pancake and waffle mix

- Birch Benders paleo pancake and waffle mix

2. Granola/snack bars: 

I am not generally a fan of “granola bars” because they usually contain a significant amount of added sugars. However, I have found some great tasting options that are lower in added sugars! Bonus - Target and Amazon are jumping on board with a lot of these options so Whole Foods does not have to be your main source when cost is a concern! 

- Rx Bars, either the adult or kids flavors. 

- Made Good, chocolate chip granola bars

- Larabar

- This Bar Saves Lives, Vanilla almond and honey

- KIND pressed mango apple chia bars

3. Drinks: 

I may lose a few fans here, but, juice is almost the equivalent of drinking a can of pop as far as sugar intake. Even if it is organic. You can exceed the recommended daily amount of sugar from one sip cup of juice! If your littles are hooked, I usually start most of my clients with watering it down in the sippy cup and eventually replacing with an option below. Swapping to organic whole milk, water, or a few of my healthy swap options below would make a significant difference in a short period of time!

- Sweetleaf flavored water drops (for the matured littles)

- Infusing water with fruit overnight (think lemon, lime, grapefruit, strawberries, oranges, etc.)

- Sparkling flavored water, Spindrift is my fave! (for our matured littles)

- Zevia (also for our more mature littles)

4. Candy: 

If you do keep these at home for options, here are some great brands that have lowered the sugar content as well as cut out the dyes and laundry lists of ingredients...

- Smart Sweets gummy bears and fish, these are SO good!

- Enjoy Life brand chocolate, comes in chips, chunks, or even bars!

5. Squeeze packs: 

Fresh is best! Whenever possible, making your own is best and more cost effective (try using one of the smoothie recipes below!) But when time saving is needed, here are some great options to grab and go for the littles:

- Once Upon A Farm, (found in the refrigerator section at Plum market, Whole Foods, or Target)

- Simply Balanced, Apple blueberry beat puree

5. Smoothies: 

These are a super easy way to sneak veggies and other superfoods into your littles without the fight of the taste. Below are two of our littles favorites that can easily be made for all ages! We generally make a larger amount and split into a smoothie sizable for Mama and babe. Collagen proteins are a great add in for our more mature littles. Vital protein brand is a great option for an unflavored option. 

PB&J smoothie Recipe:

- 2tbsp nut butter (look for organic and no added sugars)

- 1 cup organic frozen berries

- 1 handful organic spinach

- 1/3 Banana

- 1 cups MALK nut milk alternative (or organic full fat milk if dairy is not an issue)

Blend and Enjoy!

*Add 1 scoop protein for Mama after blended

Banana Cinnamon smoothie Recipe:

- 1 banana

- 2tbsp almond butter

- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

- 1 cup MALK (or organic full fat milk)

- Ice

Blend and Enjoy!

*Add 1 scoop protein for Mama after blended

Brooke Rozmenski is a nutritional coach and wellness consultant at Beets and Babes.

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