Healthy Snacks for Kids

By: Linda Russell
By: Linda Russell

When your kids are hungry between meals, it's important to keep them away from the junk food and choose nutritious snacks instead. Here's some advice for taming their hunger the healthy way.

It's true that growing boys and girls need to eat, but dietician, Mary Beth Haney says too many are eating the wrong things. "I think they're eating more junk food, because the obesity rate has doubled in the last two decades, and so I definitely think children are eating high calorie, empty calorie foods, and therefore promoting weight gain."

Many of kids' favorite foods are junk foods, but Haney says parents should encourage the more filling foods. "You really do want to try to make it a whole food- something with fiber, something with other nutrients."

The produce section is a great place to shop. Fruits are high in fiber, naturally sweet and easy to pack in a lunch, while vegetables also make the perfect snack. Haney suggests, "Go ahead and buy cauliflower, broccoli, and go ahead and chop it up and have it in a container in the refrigerator."

Even if you buy the healthier options, remind your kids to keep it sensible. Portion sizes are very important when it comes to kids snacks. Instead of giving them a whole box, parents should measure out a single serving size.

Parents should also remember to set a good example, choosing the healthy snacks themselves. "If you have the healthy snacks in the house and that's all that's available, that's all you get," says Haney.
Just remember to save the ice cream and cookies for a special occasion.

You can learn more about healthy food choices at the Back-to-School Fair at the Kansas Expocentre.

It will be held Saturday, August 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Child health screenings will also be available.


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