Simple food swaps for kids during summer

KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- Summer is here which means parents are sending their kids to day camps or leaving them at home while they work.

But it's also an important time to make sure the food your kids are eating during the summer are healthy and have nutritional value.

Nicole Beurkens, PhD, CNS, Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Nutrition Specialist from Horizons Developmental Resource Center joined us in studio to talk more about this.

Beurkens says one of the best guidelines for parents while shopping is if you cannot pronounce the ingredients, that means it probably is not a good idea to feed it to your kids.

She says many common kid-friendly snacks are filled with sugar and chemicals that can cause attention, mood, and behavior issues in kids.

The American Heart Association recommends that children ages 2-18 should consume less than 25 grams (or 6 tsps) of added sugar daily. But most kids are getting way more than the recommended amount of sugar each day.

Chemicals like artificial dyes, flavorings, preservatives, and sweeteners have been linked to attention problems, hyperactivity, anxiety, and mood issues.

There are simple ways to avoid summer sugar overload (and the irritable hyper behavior that goes with it) but still give kids snacks they enjoy:

    • Read labels to check for sugar and chemicals
    • Purchase packaged snack options that are more nutritious
    • Make simple snacks at home

If you are interested in other services offered by Beurkens, contact her by phone (616) 698-0306 or by visiting either of her websites www.DrBeurkens.com or www.HorizonsDRC.com.

You can also follow her on Facebook.

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