Healthy Snacks

Snacking can be good for kids. In fact, since young kids can only eat small portions, snacks are an important part of their daily diets. What matters most is the quality of those snacks. When chosen well, snacks can go a long way towards improving a child’s nutritional status.
Keep it Simple
Often, the very best snacks are the simplest ones. Fresh fruit, veggies, and whole grain crackers are all good choices. In general, the less processed a food is, the better it is for your body. Happily, these foods are often the easiest to get and the most convenient to serve. It doesn’t get much easier than peeling a banana. Think basics.
Making Better Choices
To avoid unhealthy foods, become a label reader. Take a pass on snacks that contain trans fats. If the label says the product contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, don’t buy it. Fat is not inherently unhealthy, but you do need to get fat from healthy sources, such as olive oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil.
Many foods that kids are accustomed to eating are loaded with sugar and processed flour. When you find whole grain substitutions for the processed stuff, most kids won’t even notice the difference in taste, but whole grains are much healthier. Sugary treats are fine occasionally, but for everyday snacking, choose naturally sweet fresh fruit to satisfy their cravings. Fruit salad, unsweetened applesauce, raisins, peanut butter and all-fruit jam on whole wheat toast are pleasing to most kids and are things that parents can feel good about serving. Low fat dairy products such as yogurt, some cheeses, or vegetable dips are also great snacking choices.