As busy parents, we all know how hard it is to get kids to eat healthfully. It’s especially hard when we’re constantly “on the go”, running errands, taking the kids to school, childcare or dance class. But there are ways to make sure your kids get the nutrients they need.
Female: Cynthia Lopez knows firsthand what it’s like to be on the go. With a set of one- year-old twins, plus a four year old, it seems as though she never stops! Cynthia’s hectic day starts even before she walks out the front door. In addition to her household chores, getting three girls ready to go out on the town isn’t always an easy task. Cynthia Lopez: We can go to the cleaners, we can go to the bank, we can stop at the grocery store and we can go to the library to return books. Female: With three young children in the car, Cynthia knows how hard it can be to stop for a break. So, she never leaves home without bringing the essentials, including snacks and beverages. Cynthia Lopez: I do eat a lot on the go with my children, first thing I have to do is pack a cooler with lots of goodies and I usually over pack it, because I never know where I might stop or when I may need something. Female: So, what are the best snacks for children to eat on the go? Dr. Klish: Fruits, raw fruits and vegetables are the ideal snack for children, they’re filling, they take a while to eat, so that occupies the time of the child has for snacking, and they are relatively low in calories. Female: And easy to eat in the car. When packing the cooler for your kids, try and stick to finger foods and store them in resalable plastic baggies or air tight, plastic containers, to preserve their freshness and avoid the chance of food contamination that can lead to food poisoning. Snacks should be easy to pass to the back seat and simple for children to hold. Drinks should be served in spill proof and shatter-resistant plastic cups, to help keep children safe during unexpected fast stops. Female: To prevent food-borne illness, foods that are taken from the refrigerator should always remain cold. Some foods that must be kept cold include: Milk, cheese and yogurt• anything made with mayonnaise such as tuna or egg salad. • Meat sandwiches and• Fresh vegetables. Foods that need not to be kept cold include: • Peanut butter sandwiches• Cookies• Crackers• Chips• Fresh fruit in the peal and• Unopened cans of fruit or puddings. Cynthia Lopez: For my daughter Michelle, she’s four; I’ll usually bring water, that’s the first thing she asks for when we get into the car. Additionally, we might have crackers, some fruit such as grapes, strawberries, something that is easy to hold and pop in her mouth. Female: For the twins, Isabella and Julia, she usually brings a bottle filled with milk or juice. But sometimes they want what their big sister is having. And that can be a problem. Be sure younger children don’t eat foods that can be a choking hazard, like grapes, nuts or chunks of peanut butter. Female: It’s also a good idea to use a thermos to keep liquids or semi-fluid foods cold or hot. You can also use it to keep water warm to prepare a bottle later in the day. Preparing snacks from home will also help eliminate those unhealthy stops at the fast food drive-thru. And don’t forget the napkins… you never know when you may need.