Kids love to snack. In fact, it’s good for them, as long as they choose healthy foods
and keep portions in check. The following suggestions can help you and your family
boost the quality of between-meal eating.
If your children are old enough to serve themselves, setting some rules (and a good
example) can help them keep on track:
To make healthy snacking easier, keep your refrigerator, pantry, and countertops stocked
with nutritious foods in snack-size amounts.
Offer an abundance of fruits and vegetables. That helps kids and grown-ups alike consume
the daily recommended amount of produce. It helps contain snacking costs, too.
Include a high-protein food such as a hard-boiled egg, cheese, yogurt, nuts, or peanut
butter. Such foods provide energy and are more likely to satisfy hunger.
Concentrate on whole-grain snacks that contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals
than refined grain snacks. Keep an eye out for large amounts of added sugar, salt,
and saturated or trans fat in these products.
Try plain-water alternatives, such as seltzer, sparkling water, and club soda served
over ice. These beverages are free of caffeine and added sweeteners. Limit juice intake
to 6 ounces (one serving) per day for children ages 1 to 6 and no more than 12 ounces
(two servings) per day for kids ages 7 to 18. Children who drink more sweetened soda,
iced tea, lemonade, and juice are more likely to be overweight than those who don’t.
Pack low-fat string cheese, dried fruits and nuts, carrot and celery sticks, or cut-up
fruit in bags for healthy snacks when you’re out and about.
Don’t forget these kid-friendly favorites: celery sticks with peanut butter topped
with raisins, frozen grapes, apple slices smeared with nut butter, single-serving
containers of fat-free yogurt, and tortilla chips and salsa.
Remember, healthy snacks eaten in moderation can be part of a nutritious diet for
you and your children.