Snacks should be an important part of everyone’s day. They provide energy and help keep blood sugar stable between meals. For children who don’t eat much at meal time, snacks are particularly important for meeting nutritional needs. Make sure the snacks your family eats provide much needed nutrients and not just empty calories.
WHAT TO REACH FOR AT SNACK TIME
Try some of these healthy options:
In addition, remember these general guidelines when serving snacks to children:
- Frozen berries blended with soymilk or low fat yogurt
- Whole wheat crackers topped with low fat cheese, almond butter, or bean dip
- Celery sticks with peanut butter
- Whole wheat English muffin topped with tomato sauce and cheese
- Chopped raw almonds, walnuts, sesame or pumpkin seeds sprinkled over fruit or yogurt
- Sliced banana and almond butter on a whole wheat English muffin
- Dried raisins, cranberries, apples, dates or apricots with a small handful of chopped nuts
- Water should be the main drink that children consume
- Fruits and vegetables should be the basis of most snacks
- Choose skim milks and low fat yogurts and cheeses
- Keep the serving size of high calorie foods small (like nuts and cheese)
- Don’t snack out of the bag, put snacks into a dish
- Always choose 100% fruit juice and follow the American Academy of Pediatrics' serving suggestions:
Children 1-6 years: only allow 6 oz per day of 100% fruit juice.
Children 7-17 years: allow 12 oz per day of 100% fruit juice.