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 after school 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 fuel our active kids with foods that prepare them for all of their activities. 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.
A healthy diet should mostly focus on nutrient dense foods. These are foods that are 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! Whole grains are carbohydrates that provide sustained energy for our body. Fruits and veggies and are also carbohydrates that are colorful and packed with “fight-o-chemicals”. The Super Crew loves these! Protein is necessary for growth and development, and healthy fats keep our hearts and brains happy! Here are a few quick snack options that include all three:
Potato chips are not nutrient dense and are “empty calories” loaded with fat and contain no nutritional value. They are okay once in a while- for a birthday party or sleepover for instance, but should not be an everyday choice.
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)
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