Kid friendly snacks
Dr. Barbara Struempler
Extension Nutritionist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System
With childhood obesity on the rise in an increasingly sedentary American society, it has perhaps never been more important for our kids to learn healthy eating habits at home.
Growing kids need a variety of nutrients that are not found in sugary snacks or greasy fast foods. In addition to preparing nutritious meals for their children, parents should also skip the salty, sugary snacks that are high in fat and calories.
Instead, with a little planning, you can offer your kids yummy but healthy treats between meals.
Dr. Barbara Struempler, an Alabama Cooperative System nutritionist, says nutritious snacks that tickle your kids' taste buds can be easy and inexpensive to prepare.
"Children need a wide variety of nutrients each day, such as calcium, protein and important vitamins, to help them grow and develop," Struempler says. "Healthy snacks between meals are great ways to help kids get the recommended amount of nutrients they need."
Struempler says making a few simple changes at snack time, such as offering a glass of cold milk instead of a soda or sports drink, can go along way toward helping your child get a healthy start in life.
"Kids don't need to come home from school to a plate full of homemade cookies every day," she says. "Try offering them crunchy carrots sticks or pretzels instead of potato chips, and substitute apple and orange slices for cookies. Have fresh fruit and raw veggies already washed, cut up and ready for them to grab out of the fridge. Small bite-size pieces of cheese or peanut butter spread on crackers are good sources of protein for kids."
With a little creativity, snack time can be fun, she says. Struempler suggests the following fun snack ideas: