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What are some healthy snacks for children?

Stock healthy snacks and make them appealing, fun, and easy to grab. Think fresh strawberries, popcorn, crackers and cheese, crisp vegetables, low-fat yogurt, their favorite [MS1] whole-grain cereals, and the like. Open your refrigerator and cabinets, and stare. Brainstorm ways to make the healthier snacks more enticing to little eyes and hands, and easy to reach. Keep sliced fruits and veggies in the front of the refrigerator. Simply don’t buy cookies, chips, and other junk food.

From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

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The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do! "Moms and dads need expert guidelines, especially when it comes to their kids' health. This book reveals the inside strategies I use myself-I'm a parent,...
Snacks that contain a mixture of carbohydrate, protein, and fat (such as peanut butter and celery, or fruit and yogurt) will satisfy hunger for a longer time than a snack with only carbohydrate (such as fruit or pretzels). The mixed-nutrient snacks are therefore a better choice when there’s going to be a long interval between meals. On the other hand, if you need to offer a snack shortly before a meal to take the edge off hunger, it’s better to provide a snack that is mostly carbohydrates.

Here are some kid-friendly snack ideas that include at least two food groups.
  • Whole grain cereal and fat-free milk
  • Fruit smoothie (100 percent fruit juice blended with low-fat or fat free milk or yogurt)
  • Fat-free plain yogurt and fresh berries
  • Low-fat peanut butter (no added sugar) on whole wheat crackers
  • Whole wheat pita and hummus (chickpea dip)
  • Apple or pear slices topped with low-fat cheese
  • Oven-baked bagel chips and salsa
  • Dried cranberry and peanut mix
  • Whole wheat pita stuffed with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and low-fat dressing
  • Raw veggies dipped in fat-free ranch dressing blended with plain, low-fat yogurt
  • Plain microwave popcorn and 100 percent fruit juice
  • Quesadilla (whole wheat soft tortilla and low-fat cheese, folded and heated)
  • Flaked tuna or salmon and chopped celery, with low-fat mayonnaise
  • Microwave-baked potato topped with salsa and shredded low-fat cheese
  • One cup of tomato soup (made with low-fat or fat-free milk) and whole grain crackers
Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens

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Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens

In a world of fast food, supersized sodas, and televised temptations, this guide shows how to buck the obesity trend currently in the national spotlight—and have fun doing it. Using a family...
Many children aren't eating enough of the nutrients critical to healthy growth and development. To pack more nutrients into your child's eating habits, try these nutrition-packed snacks.
  • Peel a banana and dip it in low-fat yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze.
  • Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese and top with raisins for "ants on a log."
  • Stuff a whole-grain pita pocket with ricotta cheese and Granny Smith apple slices. Add a dash of cinnamon.
  • Mix together ready-to-eat cereal, dried fruit and nuts in a sandwich bag for an on-the-go snack.
  • Smear a scoop of frozen yogurt on two graham crackers and add sliced banana to make a yummy sandwich.
To get healthy snacks into your child's day, consider the following fun -- and healthy -- finger foods:
  • fresh fruit, like apples, berries, pears, grapes, melon balls or cubes, bananas and oranges
  • low-fat string cheese or other low-fat cheeses cut in cubes or rolled up
  • nuts, which promote brain health; sunflower seeds or granola; rice cakes or whole-wheat crackers
  • celery sticks with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese and raisins on top (ants on a log)
  • other fresh veggies like carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and broccoli florets, with low-fat dressing for dipping
Tip: If your child won't eat a whole apple or pear (because of braces or preference), use an apple slicer/corer to quickly cut it into eight slices and toss in a plastic zip-top bag with a squirt of lemon or lime to keep the sections from browning.

Continue Learning about Healthy Eating For Children & Teens

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.