Smart snacking for kids
Children have smaller stomachs than adults and seem to be in constant motion, which means they can eat less at one sitting, use their food for energy faster, and need to eat more often. Snacking is part of a healthy lifestyle for children, and can help ensure they take in the nutrients they need.
Usually, a midmorning and midafternoon snack are adequate between meals, although many families find including a snack before bedtime can also be helpful for growing children. Keep in mind that snacks should not replace meals, but should complement them.
Try offering the dinner salad to your children while you’re preparing supper. They will be more likely to eat vegetables when hungry, rather than after they’ve filled up on their favorite casserole.
Involve your kids in packing snacks. They can help wash and peel produce. Together, make baggies with small portions of sliced fruits, veggies, whole grain crackers, nuts, lean meats, cheese cubes and more. Keep everything in a special place in the refrigerator within your children’s reach. They will enjoy the responsibility and freedom of choice; and you’ll appreciate saving time and money while they snack smart!
For a handout on kid-friendly snack ideas and tips, stop by our office at 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Suite A, Soldotna, or call us at 907-262-5824.
Submitted by Amorette Payment, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, Nutrition Educator, Kenai Peninsula District.