Healthy Snacks for Kids

Snack foods too often result in the downfall of good nutrition and ideal weight. The snacks one eats often lead to undesirable weight gains in youngsters and adults. So snacks need to be considered from the viewpoint of nutritional value, calorie count, and the activity of the person eating them. Without an adult’s teaching them the benefits of good nutrition and guiding them in their eating habits, youngsters often tend to want snacks that aren’t beneficial to their health and weight.

Factors to Consider
– Generally an active person burns more calories in a day so can eat more snacks in addition to meals without gaining weight. A less active person has to eat lower calorie snacks or fewer snacks.

– Too often candy, cake, cookies, potato chips, and soda top the list of after school or recess snacks. Teach children to eat these in moderation for they’re generally high in calories and lower in nutrition.

– Foods high in sugar content have quick energy, but their nutritional value is not as high as many other snacks.

Desirable Snacks
– Fruits rate high on the list of desirable snack foods – apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, pears, plums. Use canned or dried fruits when fresh ones aren’t in season.

– Fruit juices are better than soda for a refreshing drink. Milk is good, too. However, remember, when you use flavorings, such as chocolate and strawberry, you add calories to the drink.

– Water is a very good beverage and necessary to maintain life and good health.

– Although carrot sticks and celery sticks aren’t always a favorite on the snack list, they can be enhanced in appeal when accompanied by cheese and peanut butter. (There also are lower fat types of these spreads.)

– Raisins and peanuts are good snack foods full of nutrition. Of course, the dry roasted peanuts are lower in calories than those roasted in oil.

Snacks Before Dinner
If it will be awhile before dinner, when a youngster gets home from school starved, try a sandwich instead of sweets. Sandwich fillings such as tuna fish, cheese, peanut butter (without much jelly), or egg will supply protein.

Or serve crackers with peanut butter or cheese. If cookies have big appeal as a snack, try making types with the most food value and nourishment. Cookies with cereal ingredients, such as oatmeal and crispy rice, generally have more nutritional value than rich chocolate brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Adding wheat germ to the cereal cookie recipe also gives additional nutrition.

Icy Banana Shakes have nutritional value. Blend in a mixer until smooth: 3 cubes ice, 3/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 ripe banana.