As kids head back to school, be prepared to feed their after-school hunger with healthy snacks. Snacks are important to help children meet their nutrition needs, but if healthy choices aren’t available, then snacks may just add calories without nutrients. Here are some tips to make snacks count for better health for kids and adults.
Serve raw veggies with dips like hummus or yogurt veggie dip.
Top half of a whole grain English muffin or pita or flatbread with spaghetti or pizza sauce, chopped veggies, such as mushrooms, onions and red peppers, and part-skim mozzarella cheese and melt in the toaster oven or microwave.
Make homemade snack mix and fill small baggies for a quick grab and go snack. Include their favorite low-sugar cereal, such as Cheerios or whole grain Chex, dried fruit, unsalted nuts and popcorn.
Blend up refreshing fruit smoothies. See recipes below.
Most kids don’t eat enough fruits and veggies, so take advantage of after-school hunger and have cut up fruit and veggies in clear dishes or baggies at eye level in the ‘frig. You will be surprised how quickly these are selected when ready to eat in grab and go containers.
Visit www.choosemyplate.gov for more healthy nutrition ideas and recipes. Or for eating tips for kids and teens, visit www.kidseatright.org. Designed to help parents meet nutrition needs, shop smart, cook and eat healthfully, the Kids Eat Right website provides parents with practical tips, articles, videos and recipes from registered dietitians.
Another great website for families is www.mealmakeovermoms.com. Registered dietitians Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex, the meal makeover moms, share lots of great nutrition tips, recipes and videos.
2 cups frozen fruit (such as banana and strawberries)
1 cup skim milk or soy milk
1 cup of Greek vanilla yogurt
Blend and serve. Makes 2 servings (about 200 calories each)
Green Machine Smoothie (source: CookingLight.com)
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves +
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh honeydew +
1/3 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
Blend and serve. (About 160 calories)
For more information, contact Theresa Stahl, WMHS Outpatient Community Dietitian at 240-964-8416 or firstname.lastname@example.org.