Kids Carb Smart: A Guide to Understanding Complex Carbohydrates
The goal of any parent is to offer their children the tools needed to succeed in life. Guiding your child toward smart choices is a great way to help them chart a course toward a healthy and fulfilling life.
Parents can teach children about taking care of their health and wellbeing by helping them understand the importance of nutrition, and how the choices they make today affect their tomorrows. But with so much information available about the foods we eat, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
Parents, don’t worry! We’ve got a short and helpful guide to understanding the kind of fuel your kid needs to feel their best. Understanding that not all carbs are created equal is an important thing to know when choosing the right foods your little ones can gobble down while they are growing up.
What is a Carbohydrate, Anyway?
Carbohydrates are one of your body’s main sources of energy. While many suggest carbs be avoided or eliminated to prevent weight gain, the reality is that our bodies need the right carbohydrates to keep us going. Getting the 411 on how these foods work in your body will help you make the right choices about which ones to eat and which ones you should say “No thanks” to.
Carbs are important nutrients found in a variety of foods. Think of carbs as made up of three components: fiber, starch, and sugar. Fiber and starch are complex carbs, while sugar is classified as a simple carb. Nutrient quality is based on how much of each is found in a food.
When we think of carbs, we may think of foods such as bread and pasta, but did you know they’re also found in foods such as:
- Dairy Products
- Sugary Foods & Sweets
Adulting and Making the Right Choices
So now that you have a better idea about what carbs are, you’re probably asking yourself what are the best foods to bring home for your family to munch on. As a rule, remember, complex carbs are better for you! Don’t forget!
Why? A complex carb packs more nutrients than simple carbs and are higher in fiber. Complex carbs also take more time to digest, which makes them a great choice for controlling weight. Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes also benefit from consuming complex carbs because they help manage blood sugar spikes after eating.
You can find them in foods like:
- Whole Grains
Likewise, many of the foods we consume that include fiber are the same ones that include starch. Certain foods will contain more starch than fiber--we’re looking at you, potatoes!
Great choices for high-starch foods include:
- Whole Wheat Bread
When choosing the best foods to offer your kiddos--and yourself, too--consider complex carbs as a key to long-term health. Consuming foods rich in complex carbohydrates will help make it easier to stay on the right track.
Complex Carbs-Rich Foods Your Kids are Going to Love
Serving your kids delicious foods rich in complex carbs is a surefire way to get them to grow healthy and strong. Give them some of the good stuff like:
- 1. Whole Grains: Great sources of fiber, whole grains also contain tons of potassium, magnesium, and selenium. While that all sounds like a mouthful, these nutrients are vital to good health. Be sure and choose less processed grains though. We’re talking like quinoa, buckwheat, and whole-wheat pasta for peak benefits.
- 2. Fiber-Rich Fruits: Apples, berries, and bananas we all enjoy no matter how old we are. When you’re thinking about what fiber-rich fruits to give to your little mini-you, be sure to grab fresh--rather than canned--fruit since most contain added syrup and sugar. Yuck!
- 3. Fiber-Rich Veggies: Broccoli, leafy greens, and carrots always make a great snack, but throwing them in larger meals to get the most nutrient benefits? *Chef’s Kiss*
- 4. And Yes, Beans: A great source of fiber, beans are also a great source of folate, iron, and potassium, all of which benefit adults and kids alike to keep them energized and strong throughout the day.
If Only There was a Super Snack That Could Offer All of This and So Much More. Oh Wait!
When it comes to eating healthy, kids can be pretty picky about what they eat. Knowing this, Baked Smart Cookie set out to create a healthy snack choice parents can feel good about. Even better, kids love them!
Made with four different kinds of fruits and four more vegetables--not to mention USDA organic, non-GMO, peanut-free, soy-free, and a great vegan option--there are so many reasons kids are begging their parents to grab a box of Baked Smart Cookie at the store or to order online.