Fueling Up Right
I am frequently asked “What should I give my child for a snack?” That is a great question because snacks are important, particularly for our busy children who participate in afterschool activities and weekend sports. Snacks are essential because they refuel our bodies and add nutrients that are needed for growth and health. With that in mind, we should feed our body with foods that prepare us for the next activity. For example, if your child is going from school to sports class, you will want to give him or her a snack that contains whole grains and a little protein.
Whole grains are carbohydrates that provide sustained energy for our body, and protein is necessary for growth and development. Examples of whole grains and protein foods include: peanut butter and all-fruit jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread and hummus on whole wheat pita bread or a spelt tortilla.
Choose Nutrient Dense Foods
If a child is going to a less strenuous activity, you may want to give him or her something that is nutrient dense. A nutrient dense food is one that is loaded with nutrients but not calories. Your child deserves the best so that they can be successful in their daily activities. Nutrient dense foods are packed with power!
What About Desserts? Yes, Desserts Can Be Fun And Healthy!
Quick Mini Meals and Fresh Packed Snacks
What happens if you are not around to give your child a freshly made snack? A little bit of planning can go a long way. Use the “fresh snacks” and “backpack-ready snack” lists below when planning your child’s snacks. Some of these snack items are packaged items that you will find in the supermarket like those listed below. Read the label and avoid items that contain high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils/trans fat, sugar listed as the first ingredient, or fat, cholesterol or sodium daily value greater than 10%. Here’s to healthy snacking!
Fresh snacks (to be made at home and/or place in a freezer bag with an ice pack)
Backpack Ready (will stay fresh all day without refrigeration)