OK, so we're not suggesting you buy your kids a huge tub of popcorn at the movies. But when it's not drenched in butter and salt, popcorn is actually a very healthy snack for kids -- it's packed with whole grains and fiber. Studies have shown that these grains may lower your chances of developing diabetes and heart disease [source: Health].
The problem is, kids usually aren't as excited to eat plain popcorn. So to make the healthy version more appetizing, some people like to sprinkle cinnamon on top. Another popular alternative is garlic, in crushed or powder form. Although it won't do any favors for your breath, garlic supposedly helps lower cholesterol. However, this claim (along with various other reported health benefits of garlic) is still up for debate [source: Renoux].
HINT: If all else fails, you can also just add plain popcorn to your trail mix.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Bohn, Deborah. "Is That Really a Healthy Snack?" Kaboose. (June 19, 2009)http://health.kaboose.com/nutrition/unhealthy-snacks.html
- Consumer Reports. "Better cereal choices for kids?" Consumer Reports. Nov. 2008. (June 19, 2009)http://www.consumerreports.org/health/healthy-living/diet-nutrition/healthy-foods/breakfast-cereals/overview/breakfast-cereals-ov.htm
- Haas, Elson M. "The staying healthy shopper's guide: feed your family safely." Celestial Arts, 1998. (June 19, 2009)http://books.google.com/books?id=TGJGTuK5_PUC
- Health.com. "How Popcorn Can Be Good for Your Health" Health.com. (June 19, 2009)http://eating.health.com/2008/09/24/how-popcorn-can-be-good-for-your-health/
- Hudson, Rose Ann. "Eating for Pregnancy: An Essential Guide to Nutrition with Recipes for the Whole Family." Marlowe & Company, 2003. (June 19, 2009)http://books.google.com/books?id=r2neIz3WGQoC
- Iowa State University. "Feeding Children: Snacks for Healthy Kids." Iowa State University. Last updated Jan. 22, 2008. (June 19, 2009)http://www.extension.iastate.edu/healthnutrition/nutrition/feeding/RHK_snacks.htm
- KidsHealth.org. "Nut and Peanut Allergy." KidsHealth.org. (June 19, 2009)http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/nut_allergy.html#
- KidsHealth.org. "The Food Guide Pyramid." KidsHealth.org. (June 19, 2009)http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/pyramid.html
- PBS. "Q&A: Peanut Allergies." PBSKids.org. (June 19, 2009)http://pbskids.org/arthur/parentsteachers/lesson/health/pdf/Binky_Peanut_Allergy_QA.pdf
- Renoux, Victoria. "For the Love of Garlic: The Complete Guide to Garlic Cuisine." Square One Publishers, Inc. 2005. (June 19, 2009)http://books.google.com/books?id=9zt4nhLB_NAC
- Walters, Sheryl. "Cinnamon Balances Blood Sugar and Lowers Cholesterol." Natural News.com. (June 19, 2009)http://www.naturalnews.com/025590_cinnamon_blood_sugar.html
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