Kid-Friendly
Diet Tips

Striking a balance between healthy and kid-friendly is easy (and delicious!) with these 10 fast fixes for your child's diet.

Little girl having snack

1. The candy bar conundrum

With the cardboard chalky bland taste of most nutrition bars, it's no wonder kids reach for a candy bar when a snack attack arises. The best way to get them to forgo a high-calorie, sugar-laden confection that is mostly devoid of nutrients is by giving them a healthier alternative that is actually pleasing to their palate. The new Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar from Amazing Grass, the premiere producer of organic Green SuperFoods, isn't just delicious, it's made with health-boosting antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, organic peanuts and whey protein. One sweet-tooth satisfying gluten-free bar is sweetened with organic agave, cane sugar and dates, and delivers 12 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy omega fats.

Availability: Nationwide at retailers such as Whole Foods Markets and for purchase online at www.AmazingGrass.com.
Retail: $2.99 per bar; $35.99 for 12-count box

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar from Amazing Grass

2. Want some juice with your sugar?

Take a stroll down the juice aisle and many of the products you see are nothing more than colored sugar water. Kids love juice because of its many vibrant hues as well as its super sweet taste. Offering them a healthier juice (that is actually made from real fruit) is a seamless strategy to ensure they are drinking a nutrient-packed beverage. Sunkist Naturals, a line of premium, all natural antioxidant-rich smoothies and juices that have no added sugar, preservatives or artificial ingredients, is a delicious alternative to sugar water. Made with juicy flavorful fruit, flavors include Berry Cherry Bountiful, Golden Mango, Strawberry Dream, Valencia Orange, Berry Bountiful, Glorious Greens and Orange Cream. There is even a line of Sunkist Light smoothies and juices that have 40 percent less carbohydrates and calories.

Availability: Produce section of major grocery stores, including Ralphs and Whole Foods
Retail: $2.79 for 15.2-ounce bottle

Sunkist Naturals

3. Sneaky snacks

Brightly (artificially) colored, cheesy, seafood-shaped crackers have irresistible allure for kids of all ages. This is where a cute, tasty, bunny-shaped cracker comes to the rescue. Annie's Cheddar Bunnies, which come in cheddar, sour cream & onion, white cheddar and whole wheat flavors -- are made with organic wheat flour and real cheese with no added sugar or artificial coloring or flavorings. They are ideal for toddler-sized hands, but their crispy crunch and real cheesy flavor will tempt kids of all ages to eat them by the handful. Remember to limit portion size to one ounce.

Availability: Health food stores and supermarkets or for order online at www.Annies.com
Retail: $4.89 for 12-ounce box; $4.99 for 6-count box of 1-ounce snack bags

Annie's Cheddar Bunnies

4. The nutrient-lacking lunch

How often do you visit the fast food drive thru that is conveniently located near school just so you can send your kids to school with a lunch? Instead of a Happy Meal, reach for the new line of Oscar Mayer Lunchables. Not only will you save yourself time (you won't need to wait in line at the fast food drive-thru), you'll also be feeding your kids a more wholesome midday meal. The Oscar Mayer Lunchables Lunch Combinations feature 100 percent turkey breast, whole grain bread, low-fat cheese, and a variety of other healthier choices that meet the Kraft Foods Sensible Solution criteria for nutritional value. Meals come complete with a bottle of spring water, applesauce and a small dessert. And if you are eco-conscious, you'll be pleased that the product packaging uses recyclable materials.

Availability: Refrigerated section of grocery stores nationwide
Retail: $3.49 each

Oscar Mayer Lunchables

5. A better catch of seafood

Popcorn shrimp and chicken are popular among the kid crowd. These deep-fried, high-fat fast food offerings are also served with a side of high-calorie dips. Treat your kids to SeaPak's Popcorn Shrimp, a scrumptious alternative that you bake in the oven. Make your own dips or opt for healthier versions of the fast food favorites. You may even be able to trick your kids into eating their veggies by serving a few popcorn shrimp in a whole wheat tortilla with shredded cabbage or broccoli slaw.

Availability: Freezer aisle at supermarkets nationwide
Retail: $6.99 for 12-ounce package; $9.79 for 20-ounce package

SeaPak's Popcorn Shrimp

6. Being choosy about nut butters

Choosy moms choose Jif, particularly if they are looking to increase their family's omega-3 intake. Research shows kids aren't getting their recommended weekly intake of seafood, which means they are missing out on the many health benefits of omega-3s. Jif Creamy Peanut Butter is now rich in omega-3 DHA and EPA, good-for-you fatty acids that promote mood, brain development and heart health, and reduce inflammation. The omega-3s in Jif are derived from fatty fish but don't expect this PB&J fave to taste anything like the sea. Your kids will never know their usual peanut butter is delivering the same health benefits of that often eschewed plate of baked fish. Slather Jif on breakfast foods, blend it into smoothies or turn it into a nutty good satay sauce for chicken skewers.

Availability: Supermarkets and grocery retailers nationwide
Retail: $3.49 for 16-ounce jar

Jif Creamy Peanut Butter

7. Super soup

Those cups of deep-fried ramen noodles are teeming with sodium and calories. Fun, yes; healthy, not so much. When soup is a necessary lunch to keep your kids warm at school, opt for a thermos of Campbell's Select Harvest Soup. Made with 100 percent natural ingredients, you can choose from five new Mediterranean style soups, including Zesty Tomato Bisque and Light Minestrone -- featuring flavorful veggies, whole grains and extra virgin olive oil. These satisfying wholesome soups contain no MSG and maintain a modest sodium level compared to other soups with 480 milligrams per serving.

Availability: Supermarkets and grocery retailers nationwide
Retail: $2.99 for 18.6-ounce can (2 servings)

Light Minestrone

8. Hack the sugar habit

Do you cringe when your kids pour sugar on their morning cereal? You can cringe less with Sun Crystals All Natural Sweetener, the first sweetener made from stevia and pure sugar cane. Your kids (and you) will get the same sweet tooth pleasing taste but with only a fraction of the calories. One packet of Sun Crystals has the sweetness of two teaspoons of sugar but only five calories (two teaspoons of sugar has 32 calories). Sun Crystals is also available in granular form at 16 calories per teaspoon (the same as sugar) but with twice the sweetness so you can make sweet beverages and bake family-favorite treats with half the sugar calories. Both packets and the granulated blend are suitable for people with diabetes.

Availability: Supermarkets and grocery retailers nationwide
Retail: $3.49 for 50-count box and $5.99 for 100-count box; $6.49 for 2-pound sugar-equivalent bag

Sun Crystals All Natural Sweetener

9. Slurping naturally

Those 32-ounce jugs of convenience store soda are not only bubbling with sugar and calories, they are also teeming with artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. A tastier, healthier grab is Natural Brew soft drinks. Made using old-fashioned micro-brewing techniques to bring out the robust flavor of all the key ingredients, these tasty beverages contain no artificial colors, additives or preservatives. Whatever your child's cola fix may be, you can satisfy it with one of Natural Brew's refreshingly delicious flavors. Choose from Draft Root Beer, Outrageous Ginger Ale, Vanilla Crème, Lemon Lime, Ginseng Cola and Concord Grape. Even better, the 12-ounce bottles will make sure your kiddos aren't slurping half of their day's calories in a nutrient-devoid drink.

Availability: Natural food stores and the natural foods section of grocery stores nationwide
Retail: $5.49 per each 4-pack

Draft Root Beer

10. The little chef

Getting your kids in the kitchen to help fix the family meals is an opportune way to improve your family's diet and eventually even save you time in preparing meals. If your children are already intrigued by gadgets in the utensil drawer, giving them their own kid-friendly kitchen tools will pique their interest even further. The Curious Chef's 8-piece Fruit and Vegetable Set gives them the basics of putting together a fruit- or vegetable-centric meal: silicon spatula, peeler, melon baller, apple corer, lemon zester, nylon knife, lemon cutting board, and vegetable scrubber. Let your kids wash the produce before dinner, teach them to make squiggly twists of lemon zest for garnish, or challenge them to make a colorful melon ball salad. Give them a chance to be a little chef and you'll be teaching them to eat healthier and cook for themselves into adulthood.

Availability: www.CuriousChef.com
Retail: $29.99

The Curious Chef's 8-piece Fruit and Vegetable Set

More ways to improve your Child's diet

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