St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner. Although traditionally a day set aside for adult indulgence in green colored beer, children have been swept into the "making everything green" day. For children the fun starts with lots of artificially colored green foods such as Jell-O, cakes, cookies, ice cream and cereals. Recently I saw a Pinterest post that had a box of Lucky Charm cereal with a tag wrapped around it that said "Lucky to have you! Love Mom".
Who doesn't remember the happy little Leprechaun jumping over the rainbow touting about his Lucky Charms Cereal being "Magically delicious". I am pretty sure that the cereal company did not really add any magic into their boxes of sugar, chemical and artificially colored cereals, just a whole lot of junk. Do you know what the ingredients are in Lucky Charms Cereal? Here is a list of the ingredients found in Lucky Charms Cereal.
Whole Grain Oats, Marshmallows (Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Gelatin, Calcium Carbonate, Yellows 5&6, Blue 1, Red 40, Artificial Flavor), Sugar, Oat Flour, Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, Salt, Trisodium Phosphate, Color Added, Natural and Artificial Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3
Needless to say, I got a little upset with the idea of giving out the cereal as part of the festivities.
Why does food always have to be colored, flavored, sugar laden and just flat junk, to make a party fun? Why can't we serve green vegetables and fruits and have just as much fun? Here is a list of snack ideas I came up with and/or found on Pinterest that do reflect a healthier side of St. Patrick's day.
1.Guacamole with green chips, broccoli, celery or sugar snap peas for dipping
2. Green smoothie (combine apple juice, milk, berries, 1 teaspoon honey and an avocado or spinach leaves)
3. Grapes and green apple slices kabobs (vanilla yogurt for dipping)
4. Kale chips (roast kale tossed in olive oil and sea salt until crispy)
5. Veggie Pirate Booty chips
6. Cucumber shaped shamrocks dipped in low-fat ranch
7. Mini-sandwiches cut with clover molds
8. Healthy, low fat potato salad
9. Ants on a log (celery with nut butter or hummus sprinkled with raisins)
10. Pistachio low fat pudding topped with shelled pistachios.
11. Baggie filled with green grapes with the tag: "Lucky this green stuff is good for me!" To print out the tag click here.
Happy National Nutrition Month!
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