Getting back to school is all about learning new routines, so now is a great time to develop healthier snacking habits. Packaged snack foods can be an easy, convenient choice for after school but often provide too many added calories and not enough nutrition. Snacks don't have to be complicated! And while snacks tend to be of lower nutritional value than meals (which make up most of your child's nutritional intake), choosing the right snacks can help enhance healthy eating habits. Here are some great tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Use snack times as a way to increase fruit and vegetable intake.Most kids do not eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Snack times offer a great opportunity to increase access and exposure to these nutrient-dense foods. Consider pairing them up with dairy products or dairy substitutes (such as grapes and cheese), lean proteins (such as celery and peanut butter), or whole-grain cereals and bread (such as banana sandwich on whole grain bread).
Keep a range of healthy foods handy at home.It is much easier to make easy, healthy snacks when you keep a few key items stocked at home. Ideas include different types of raw vegetables and fruit, yogurt dip, hummus, and cheese sticks.
Avoid processed foods and added sugarsProcessed foods (made in a factory and sold in bags and boxes) do not have many nutrients and often have a lot of added sugar and salt. In addition, children may become hungry faster after eating processed foods.
Teach your children to eat a rainbow of colorsArrange your children's foods to show the beauty of fresh, brightly colored foods. Talk about the farms where food comes from and the farmers who help grow it during your time together after school.
Pack ahead.Pre Packaged some healthy options that are nutrient-rich in small glass or stainless steel containers for traveling to after-school activities.
I like to support age-appropriate portion sizes for kids with our intentionally designed smart snacking bowls and the conscious cup to limit any sugary drinks.
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