Fuel children with smart snacking habits
Snacks can and should be an important part of a healthy eating plan for kids. Try these tips to help them to make healthier choices:
- Give them healthy choices
- Remember that you are in charge of what foods you choose to bring into your home for your children to eat:
Stock plenty of nutritious foods for snacks such as vegetables and fruit, whole grain products, lower-fat milk and alternatives and nuts and seeds. Make it easy for kids to enjoy by preparing these to be ready to eat. Try:
Baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms and cucumbers with a humus dip.
Melons, berries, peaches, apples, pears, kiwi, bananas and tangerines with a sweet yogurt dip.
Multigrain bagels, whole grain pita pockets, or whole wheat English muffins topped with cheese.
Homemade trail mix made with whole grain cereals, dried fruit, almonds, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Create a healthy snacking zone in your refrigerator or on a kitchen shelf that your children can reach. Let your children choose from among a few different healthy snacks.
Limit the less healthy food choices that you keep on hand. These include foods that are higher in calories, fat and sugar like potato chips, candy, cookies, frozen desserts or soft drinks.
- Make healthy choices fun
Let kids get creative building their own snack – like a happy veggie face pizza on a whole grain English muffin or a frozen yogurt banana Sunday sprinkled with granola and berries.
Most kids love to dip their foods. Serve a plate full of bite size vegetable pieces with hummus dip when children are hungry after school and watch them disappear.
Pack a little container with whole grain crackers, and sliced ham and cheese cut to the same size as the crackers. Let kids have fun building mini sandwiches for a snack.
- Let kids help with snacks
Get kids involved in planning healthy snacks from a young age. Teach them to choose a snack made with nutritious foods from at least two of the food groups in Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.
Ask your children to help you make a shopping list with some of their favourite snack foods from each food group. Remember to ask them to update it regularly.
Experiment together with new snack ideas. Try making zucchini bread, fruit pops make with chunks of real fruit and 100% juice, or a home-maid snacking trail mix with whole grain cereals, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
Is one of the nutrients, along with protein and carbohydrate, that supplies energy (calories) to the body. Dietary fats include saturated (animal flesh, butter, margarine, processed and fried foods), trans (hydrogenated oils) d unsaturated (vegetable oils). Unsaturated fats are the preferred type for health reasons.
A group of carbohydrates that help make our food sweet. Glucose, fructose, sucrose and lactose are some examples. The different names indicate that each sugar has a different chemical structure.
This article was written for/ by EatRight Ontario