Check Your Health: Healthy Snacks for Kids

Check Your Health - Healthy Snacks for Kids

Eating healthy doesn't end with breakfast, lunch, and dinner; it means preparing healthy snacks for both you and your children. Registered dietitian nutritionist, Alison Jensen with the Utah Department of Health stopped by to give parents a few snacking tips:

What to snack on: A healthy snack is like a mini-meal rather than a treat. It’s an important part of your child’s nutrition. Pair foods from 2 different food groups for a well-rounded snack: such as apples slices dipped in peanut butter or whole grain crackers with cheese.

When to snack: Younger kids generally need 3 meals and at least 2 snacks a day. Because they have smaller stomachs younger children may need to eat a snack more often. It’s important to serve snacks within an hour or two of meals so that kids don’t just graze throughout the day. Also, offer snacks at predictable times each day. Older kids need 3 meals and at least 1 snack a day, maybe more if they are going through a growth spurt or if they are involved in activities like dance or soccer.

Where to snack: When at home designate a specific area as the “eating-only zone” and keep snacking within that area. Avoid letting your kids snack while watching TV which can distract them from their bodies’ natural hunger and fullness cues.