Every mom knows the struggle of trying to find healthy snacks for your family. You want your kids to snack on something nourishing and good for them. But your kids always want junk food and they probably refuse to eat anything that looks remotely like produce.
If you’re looking for a snack that meets your criteria and will satisfy your kids’ taste buds, then you should head on out to your local grocery store and pick up some dried fruit! Dried fruit is sweet enough that your kids will love to eat it and it has numerous health benefits so you feel good about letting them eat it.
Here are some reasons you should add dried fruit to your family’s diet ASAP.
Dried fruits are packed full of fiber, which is essential for regulating your digestive system. In fact, dried fruit contains almost 3 times as much fiber as fresh fruit, so they’re an awesome source of fiber. Consuming a good amount of fiber helps regulate bowel movements, which is very important for everyone in your family.
Many children have problems with constipation, especially if they aren’t always eating the healthiest of foods. And let’s be honest, whose kids have a healthy diet all the time? Adding some dried fruit to their diets can help counterbalance the impacts of the not so healthy food they’re eating.
Dried fruit also helps balance the good bacteria in your gut, which leads to a healthier system overall.
Dried fruits are full of natural sugars, which provide a much needed burst of natural energy. Dried fruit is also calorie dense, which means that it’s digested slowly. This provides long term energy as well. So, you get the immediate burst of energy that a sugary snack would provide, but without the sugar crash that goes along with the empty calories of other sugary snacks.
Because dried fruits give this natural energy boost they’re the perfect snack for the mid-afternoon slump. Instead of grabbing another cup of coffee, you and your partner can reach for a bowl of dried fruit to get you through the end of the workday or after school hours. And your kids can snack on some dried fruits to get the energy they need to power through their homework.
We’ve all heard about how good antioxidants are for our bodies, but why are they so important? Antioxidants help combat free radicals in the body.
Free radicals are basically the buildup of nasty stuff in our bodies. They’re what’s left behind when we consume anything toxic to the body like alcohol, cigarette smoke, chemicals, and even certain foods. Buildup of free radicals in the body can lead to all sorts of diseases including cancer.
Antioxidants work with the body to eradicate these free radicals, so they’re kind of a big deal. Consuming foods with lots of antioxidants on a regular basis is super important for disease prevention and overall health.
Dried fruits are high in antioxidants, so adding them to your diet on a regular basis is a great way to get more antioxidants. So, when you’re giving your family dried fruit as a snack you can be confident that you’re helping to improve their health.
One of the main reasons that it’s recommended we get five servings of fruits and veggies each day is because they’re filled with vitamins and nutrients. These vitamins and nutrients are essential for a healthily functioning body.
Dried fruits have gotten a bad rap in the past when it comes to their vitamin and nutrient content. While it’s true that the dehydration process causes dried fruits to lose some of their vitamins and nutrients, most dried fruits still have a very high concentration of the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need. And dehydration processes have improved, so dried fruits now retain more of their vitamins and nutrients.
In some cases, the dehydration process actually concentrates the vitamins and nutrients in dried fruit, making them a better source of these essentials.
Dried fruits are packed full of potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. They’re also great source of Vitamin A and complex B vitamins. Potassium is essential for muscle growth and health as well as central nervous system functioning. Calcium and iron are key for bone growth and health, which is especially important for kids since their bones are still growing.
Eating dried fruits on a regular basis is a great way to ensure your family is getting all the vitamins and nutrients that help their bodies function and grow.
Another reason it’s important to get enough fruit in your diet is because they help our bodies fight disease. Luckily, dried fruit is just as good as fresh fruit when it comes to disease prevention.
Consumption of dried fruit has been linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Studies also suggest that eating dried fruits can lead to lower blood pressure. Raisins in particular have been linked to both better blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure.
Many dried fruits also contain polyphenol, which can help reduce systemic inflammation. Since inflammation is linked to many different diseases the anti-inflammatory properties of dried fruit contribute to disease prevention.
As previously mentioned, dried fruits also contribute to a healthy digestive system, which is key in preventing all kinds of disease.
Considering all these health benefits and more, adding dried fruit to your family’s regular diet is a great idea. Make sure that your family is practicing portion control when eating dried fruit. Since it’s much smaller in volume than its fresh counterpart, it can be easy to overeat dried fruit. Try portioning dried fruit in small reusable containers or snack bags to prevent overeating.
For some suggestions about creative ways to add dried to your family’s diet, check out the “The More You Know” section of our site.