Healthier After-School Snacks

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Healthier After-School Snacks
Check out a wonderful list of healthy snacks you can eat at anytime of the day!

By RD & Certified Kids' Nutrition Specialist, Colleen Hurley, for GalTime.com

getting kids to eat healthier

 

Snacks not only can help curb hunger but can also make sure your family gets their daily dose of fruits and vegetables. 

Healthy snacks are particularly important for little ones because their tummies are tiny and often prefer to ‘graze’ throughout the day.  

Aim for variety, as healthy as possible, and make sure the snack doesn’t become a meal.

 

While calorie counting isn’t really appropriate for toddlers, there are a few snack rules that can be applied to everyone in the house as snacks should be:

  • Nutrient dense vs. calorie dense
  • Have zero trans fats

  • Satisfying
  • Be low in saturated fat

  • Taste good
  • Able to be taken on-the-go

To help boost kids' snacking, here are some snack ideas from the food groups. You can use this table to mix and match selecting 1 food from 1-2 (no more than 3 or else it’s a meal) groups for a hearty, healthy snack.

Related: Functional & Healthy Foods-For Busy Families

Grain Group Snacks

  • ½ cup whole grain cereal
  • Mini rice cakes
  • Air popped popcorn
  • Corn tortilla
  • Oatmeal
  • Frozen whole grain waffle
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Whole grain slice of bread

Fruit Snacks

  • ¼ cup dried fruit or raisins
  • Apple or pear slices
  • ½ cup frozen berries blended into a smoothie
  • Wedge of watermelon or cantaloupe
  • Fresh berries
  • 1 small piece of fruit
  • ½ a medium banana
  • Grapes (try them frozen in the summer)
  • Pineapple chunks

Veggie Snacks

  • Sliced cucumber or bell peppers
  • Celery or carrot sticks
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Lettuce leaves (for wrapping and topping sandwiches)
  • Mashed avocado or guacamole
  • Tomato slices
  • Blanched broccoli or cauliflower
  • Kale ‘chips’

Dairy/Calcium Group

  • 1 cup low-fat milk, or fortified soy or almond milk
  • 1 String cheese
  • 1 ounce cheese cube
  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 6 oz yogurt or non-dairy yogurt (watch the sugar content, should be <16grams)

Meat/Bean Group Snacks

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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