Previously, I informed you that prepackaged foods and beverages are not the best and least expensive choices you can make when avoiding child obesity. And I am sure that many of you have doubts about healthier food choices being less expensive. Thus the first recipes to be shared are:

Fruit Spritzers, Fruity Cubes and a snack

Have you ever heard or known someone who drank 1 or more beers a day; developed a beer belly and then lost that big belly when they stopped drinking beer. This same effect happens with soda, including diet soda.

Sure you like soda, your kids like soda, but soda does not temper thirst, instead it induces the want for more. And research has found that Diet soda only increases the want for more sugar. In fact soda can be compared to the devilís advocate when trying to induce and maintain healthy weights and weight loss (especially when combined with sedentary lifestyles), plus it absorbs excess funds that could be used on healthier choices.

Another option for sugary beverages currently available are a variety of fruit flavored waters available for about $1 or more per bottle. They sound great, donít they? Sure they do, and much better than soda, BUT most are prepared with excess sugar and artificial flavors, hence an expensive choice of water!

And then to top all this off with, many overweight kids arenít getting enough fruits and veggies into their daily diets! So One Solution to this dilemma is to make your own soda and flavored water with fresh or fresh frozen fruit that you previously saved money on by stocking up on fresh fruits when on sale. Sounds too easy---it is; plus the taste is delightfully fresh.

Fruit Spritzer

1, 8-ounce bottle club soda
1 cup 100% fruit juice (only)
Ice cubes or choice of Fruity Cubes
Pour the all ingredients in a glass, stir it a few times and enjoy.

Fruity Cubes

To be added to homemade soda, a glass of water, or even to a glass (sippy cup) of juice and you could even flavor milk if you wanted to with them.

A. Take 1/4 cup of previously frozen fresh fruit and thaw it until juicy in the microwave, about 1 minute. Drain the juice into a cup or small bowl and set the remaining fruit aside in the refrigerator to be mixed with yogurt or applesauce for a snack later in the day. To make ice cubes, mix the juice with enough water to fill each section of an ice cube tray. Freeze the tray until the ice cubes are solid and use when flavoring water or preparing a fruit spritzer.

B. Simply drop a whole berry, pitted cherry or or small pineapple chunk into each section of the ice cube tray, fill the sections with water and freeze accordingly. If using strawberries cut the stems off and slice each in half lengthwise and then add to the ice cube tray. IF the strawberry is large, slice it into quarters.

The Better Yogurt

Whether your kids are active or not, homemade will always reign over previously mixed and packaged foods for flavor and health. So when it comes to yogurt, you as a parent have a choice---to spend a few pennies more on 1 small container previously mixed with minimal fruit, lots of sugar or high fructose corn syrup and salt or you can purchase the larger container of plain yogurt (quart or larger) which offers more for less, and then add your own fruits and sugar or preferably honey in minimal amounts. Know that yogurt makes a terrific mid-day, after-school or after-dinner snack, and is much better for growing or adult bodies than junkie, prepackaged offerings. And it only takes a minute or 2 to prepare and serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator for a later day snack.

1 serving: (for babies and toddlers, decrease the amounts slightly)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (preferably thick, not watery and loose)
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon or more chopped fresh or fresh forzen and thawed fruit

Mix all together and serve, or cover with clear plastic film and store into the refrigerator until served.