Contributed by: Ciara Floyd, M.S., NSCF-CPT, NSCA-CSCS
Finding the right snack for your children can be difficult. Some kids are picky eaters, only want to eat what they saw on a commercial, or you may as a parent be short on time. Children can snack 2 or 3 times a day; popular snack times for kids include: mid-morning or afternoon, after school, or before/after an extracurricular activity. Here are some tips that can help you give your kids better snacks.
- Be creative – try to mix up the snacks either on a weekly or daily basis.
- Mix and match – try adding two different things together to make a balanced snack such as apples and peanut butter or almonds and grapes.
- Avoid prepackaged foods – although prepackaged foods are easier to pack in a lunch box, they are loaded with salt, sugar and are often high in fat and calories. For example, a snack size package of Cheez-its has 200 calories!
- Cut it out- have some fun with snacks and use a cookie cutter to shape vegetables, cheese, and whole grain bread. Use cheese cubes and diced vegetables and fruits and pretzels to make stick figures. If it looks fun, kids will want to eat it more.
- Sweet tooth – try satisfying your child’s sweet tooth with low fat puddings, frozen fruit bars, and homemade smoothies.
These simple tips can help improve your child’s nutrition. You may even be surprised at how much they enjoy the new options.
Source: The Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/childrens-health/art-20044350?pg=2