February 24, 2011
What Makes a Good Snack
Think of snacks as mini meals, not meal wreckers.
That way, snacks serve as opportunities for good nutrition, and there's no need for concern when your child isn't as hungry for the next meal.
Most of the time, feed your child the same types of foods you would at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including low-fat dairy and other lean protein sources, eggs, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Winning snacks provide carbohydrate, protein, fiber, and some healthy fat. Generally speaking, foods rich in protein or fiber help kids stay fuller for longer, and they're packed with the nutrients kids need to thrive.
There's no consensus about how many calories a child's snack should provide, but it makes sense to aim for about 100 calories for smaller children to upwards of 300 calories for active teenagers. Let your child's hunger rule what he eats.
19 Simple, Do-It-Yourself Snacks
Making your own snacks to have at home or take with you is usually far more nutritious -- and economical -- than relying on packaged foods.
Here are some snack suggestions:
1. Guacamole (look for the 100-calorie packs in the refrigerator section) or small can of bean dip and baked snack chips or toasted whole wheat pita bread, broken into chips
2. Low-fat microwave popcorn tossed with Parmesan cheese
3. Trail mix ingredients: 1/4 cup each: whole-grain cereal, raisins or dried cranberries, and 2 tablespoons each: sunflower seeds or chopped nuts
4. Low-fat ice cream topped with fresh fruit
5. Snack size (8 ounce) box of low-fat plain or chocolate milk and whole wheat pretzels
6. Whole-grain crackers, string cheese, and mango slices
7. Cooked or raw vegetables with low-fat ranch dressing, and a hard-boiled egg
8. Instant oatmeal made with milk in the microwave with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder stirred in and topped with sliced raspberries or strawberries
9. Whole-wheat pretzels with peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
10. Cherry chocolate smoothie: Combine 1 cup low-fat milk, 1/2 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen or fresh pitted cherries, and 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.
11. Bowl of whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk
13. Small container of Greek yogurt
14. Mini bagel spread with low-fat cream cheese and strawberry jam, and low-fat milk
15. Hummus and whole wheat pita chips
16. Half a sandwich and glass of orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D
17. Slice of pizza
18. Hard-boiled egg and whole-grain roll
19. Pistachios in the shell and glass of chocolate milk
Posted by Lisa at February 24, 2011 7:10 PM
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