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Healthy Snacking

No matter their age, most kids love snacks. And, snacking can actually be a good thing, if done in a healthy way. Snacks provide children with the extra calories and energy they need to keep going and growing. But, it is important for kids to make healthy snack choices, and this is where parents and caretakers can make a difference.

Healthy Snacks

Kids will eat whatever is available with it's snack time. So, it makes sense to avoid buying food you don't want your child to eat. If given a choice between cookies and a pear, for example, most kids opt for the cookies. But, if snack options include a pear and celery with peanut butter, both choices will be healthy.

Helping kids pick healthy snacks:

  • Keep a selection of ready-to-eat healthy snacks in the house. That way, your child can always grab something good for him.
  • Carry some healthy snacks with you, so you have something on hand when your child gets the munchies.
  • Limit snacks before meal times, or your child will not be hungry at dinner time.
  • Provide your child with a selection of healthy snacks and let him make the choice.
  • Just because something seems healthy doesn't mean it really is. For example, most processed fruit snacks contain no fruit and are all sugar; your child would be better off eating fresh fruit.
  • Pay attention to serving sizes, so that your child does not eat more than he needs. If you purchase snacks in boxes, you can separate them into individual quick-grab servings.

Ideal snack choices include things like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Keep a supply on hand that includes items like fresh fruit, dried fruit, trail mix, tortilla chips and salsa, whole-grain muffins, graham crackers, natural applesauce, etc. There are many healthy snack options that will give your child the quick pick-me-up he needs, without filling him up with sugar and unhealthy ingredients. Teaching your child to make good snacking choices will help him throughout childhood, as well as for the rest of his life.