If you spend any time with kids, you will learn very quickly how snacks are life for tiny humans. While they may refuse their well-balanced meals filled with veggies and other nutritious goodies, you will be hard pressed to find a child who declines a mid-day nosh.
And while it may be frustrating to hear the same request for more snacks over and over again, it is no surprise why snacks are so popular for littles. Often super-tasty and fun to eat, snacks are – in a word – awesome. And since tiny tummies need to be filled more frequently than adults’, snacks are an important part of a child’s overall diet.
But when it comes to choosing snacks, there are some great choices for little ones and some not-so-ideal options.
Generally speaking, steering clear of snacks that contain any added sugars or salts is a good rule-of thumb. Opting for choices that are free from artificial preservatives, colorings, and flavorings is ideal as well.
So which options can you offer your kids when staying within those guidelines? Yes, classics like sandwich cookies and gummy worms should not be a staple during snack time, much to the dismay of many children everywhere.
But there are a slew of healthful options that can satisfy both a child’s sweet tooth and a parent’s need to offer healthy foods – one being Date Shoppe dates!
Why Are Dates The Perfect Kid-Friendly Snack?
Dates are an amazing – and possibly surprising – snack for little ones for a slew of reasons. Yes, biting into a fresh date offers a uniquely sweet-caramelly taste that can’t be matched. They satisfy the sweet tooth that every child seems to constantly have while not having any added sugars. And since the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans dictate that children under the age of 2 should consume zero grams of added sugars, and kids over the age of 2 should limit their added sugar intake, XX dates are a perfect alternative to sugary candies and treats.
But beyond the naturally sweet taste that you get when you enjoy a fresh date, there are other reasons why dates are one of the most perfect kid-friendly snack out there.
Dates naturally contain iron
Iron is a mineral that plays an important role in a child’s health. And unfortunately, iron deficiency is quite common in little ones, which can result in outcomes like your kiddo being very tired, experiencing behavioral challenges, and having a poor appetite.
One way to prevent iron deficiency anemia in children is to offer them foods that naturally contain iron. And since dates naturally contain this important mineral, including it in your kiddo’s diet is a wise choice.
Dates can help keep kids regular
Many adults have experienced what happens to their bowel movements if they don’t get in enough fiber – and it isn’t pleasant. And just like adults, kids can experience constipation too.
Eating enough fiber can help keep kids regular in the bathroom department and help keep their guts healthy. Dates naturally contain fiber, making it extra delicious to keep little tummies happy and healthy.
Dates Support Bone Health
Along with engaging in physical activity, eating the right nutrients can help kids build up their bone strength and help prevent unsavory situations like bone fractures. Along with nutrients like magnesium and vitamin D, consuming enough calcium can boost little bones in a healthy way.
And since dates naturally contain – you guessed it – calcium, offering them as a snack is a bone-building nosh that is oh-so-satisfying.
So Many Reasons For Kids To Love Dates
Chewy, sweet, and totally versatile, dates are a kid-friendly snack that always seem to please. Whether they are stuffed with nut butter, chopped and added to cereal, or simply eaten on their own, offering dates to little tummies is always a good idea.
So, add them to your child’s lunch box, include them with breakfast, or even serve them as dessert. Either way, your kiddo’s health will be better for it.