School has started and boy, are these kids hungry when they arrive home. So what snacks do you feed
them? Here are 10 great tips for keeping your kids snacking healthy. Our friend Christie Jensen shared
this great article with us, thanks Christie!
No. 1: Keep junk food out of the house
Keep the sweets out of the house, then you won’t be tempted. This would be helpful for myself. Parents need to set good examples by choosing healthy snacks for yourself.
No. 2: Go for the grain
Snack time is a great time to get your whole grains in. These can be in whole grain pretzels, tortillas or whole grain cereals.
No. 3: Mix and match
Dip baby carrots in fat free ranch or hummus. Dip fresh fruit in fat free yogurt. Spread the peanut butter on veggies and fruit. I know my kids love to dip stuff, so why not make it healthy.
No. 4: Broaden the menu
Try pineapple, cranberries, tangelos or roasted soy nuts.
No. 5: Revisit breakfast
Serve breakfast foods — such as scrambled eggs and whole-grain toast — as healthy snacks for kids in the afternoon.
No. 6: Sweeten it up
Just because it is healthy doesn’t mean it has to taste bland. Give a little sweet stuff, fat-free pudding, frozen yogurt of fruit bars. One of our favorites is a fresh fruit smoothie with skim milk and fat-free yogurt.
No. 7: Have fun
Make fruit kabobs (recipe is on an earlier post). Make towers out of graham crackers, make funny faces out of your fruit. Use cookie cutters with your whole grain breads or cheese.
No. 8: Promote independence
Keep a selection of ready-to-eat veggies in the refrigerator. Leave fresh fruit in a bowl on the counter. Store low-sugar, whole-grain cereal and fruit canned or packaged in its own juice in an easily accessible cabinet.
No. 9: Don’t be fooled by labeling gimmicks
Foods marketed as low-fat or fat-free can still be high in calories and sodium. Likewise, foods touted as cholesterol-free can still be high in fat, saturated fat and sugar. Check nutrition labels to find out the whole story.
No. 10: Designate a snacking zone
Restrict snacking to certain areas, such as the kitchen. You’ll save your child countless calories from mindless munching in front of the TV. If your child needs to snack on the go, offer string cheese, yogurt sticks, cereal bars, a banana or other drip-free items.
I hope this list is helpful to you. It is great to be reminded to have healthy snacks. There is so much processed unhealthy foods that are easy to buy. It does take more effort and planning to have healthy snacks around, but what a great way to get more fruits, veggies and whole grains into your child’s diet (and yours!).
For more information or to visit Christie's blog go to http://raisinghealthykids.wordpress.com/