So let’s simplify things by dividing all food into 2 broad categories:
- Nature-made food
- Man-made food
What are nature-made foods?
“Nature-made foods” are foods that the earth gives us and that we have not changed. Fruit, vegetables, animal protein (beef, chicken, fish, pork, lamb, etc), milk, cheese and unsweetened yogurt, nuts, nut butters, seeds, bean, and whole grains such as wild rice, quinoa, brown, rice all belong in this group. “Nature-made” foods are what we should be eating 99% of the time.
What are man-made foods?
“Man-made foods” on the other hand are anything that is made in a factory by man. Some might call them “processed foods.” If there were no humans and no factories, these foods would not exist. Examples of man-made foods are crackers, fruit “snacks,” pasta, dry breakfast cereals, white rice, and even bread.
Some “man-made” foods are worse for us than others; for example, our bodies are better able to handle man-made foods like whole grain bread and whole wheat pasta than uber-processed foods such as Doritos, Cheez-It crackers, and Fruit Loops. Our bodies just were not made to eat these uber-processed foods; they increase cravings and can be addictive; which is intentional so that you will keep buying them and making the food companies money. The more processed foods that we eat, the less appealing “real food” becomes. Before long we get stuck in a vicious cycle of eating mostly processed man-made foods and the worse our bodies start to function and feel. Also it is MUCH harder to stick to appropriate portion sizes with man-made foods.
So what are some healthy “nature-made” snack ideas that you can feed your children? Here are some of our favorites! Even replacing one “man-made” snack a day with one of these can make a big difference in how our children function and feel. You can also start to teach them about the difference between “man-made” and “nature-made” foods.
- Apple slices with Almond Butter
- Pear slices with “Ants on a Log” (celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins)
- Nitrate-free hot dogs and fruit kebob
- Scrambled eggs with cheese and fruit
- Nuts, sunflower seeds, and/or pumpkin seeds and unsweetened Greek yogurt
- Unsweetened greek yogurt with ½ tsp honey and 1 packet stevia
- Carrot sticks with apples slices and cheddar cheese
- Banana slices with 1 tablespoon of almond butter and a glass of milk
- Pineapple and ham or turkey kebobs
- Hot oatmeal with scrambled eggs
- Cucumber salad with avocado, jicama, grape tomatoes, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Chicken sausage with fruit smoothie
- Fried Plantains with black beans and cheese
- Baked Sweet Potato Slices (drizzle with oil and cook at 450 degrees F for 8 minutes on each side) with Guacamole
- Fresh mozzarella cheese with slices tomatoes, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Vegetables (raw or cooked)
- Cottage Cheese with cinnamon and fruit
- Sliced bell peppers with hummus
Need a little more guidance? Contact me for a nutritional consultation.