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Healthy Snacks: Quick tips for parents

Nutrition

Section #1

Snacks don't need to be unhealthy. There are plenty of healthy snack options that give your kids important nutrients and help satisfy hunger between meals.

Try these healthy snack ideas.

  • Make “ants on a log” (celery with peanut butter and raisins).
  • Add fruit (fresh, frozen, dried, or canned) to fat-free or low-fat yogurt. Look for canned, dried, and frozen fruit with no added sugars.
  • Blend fruit and yogurt with some 100% fruit juice to make a tasty smoothie.
  • Top whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese.
  • Dip vegetable “matchsticks” (thin sticks made from fresh carrots, zucchini, or bell peppers) in hummus (a dip made from chickpeas).
  • Top whole-wheat bread, rice cakes, or apple slices with peanut butter.
  • Melt low-fat cheese in a whole-wheat tortilla to make quesadillas. Try adding black beans for an extra boost of nutrition!
  • Mix air-popped popcorn with dried fruit and unsalted nuts for homemade trail mix. Serve with a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk.
  • Dip tortilla chips in salsa. Look for chips with less sodium.
  • Make a mini pizza. Top half of a whole-wheat English with spaghetti sauce, chopped vegetables, and low-fat shredded cheese and heat it up in the microwave or oven.
  • Keep fresh fruit in a place that’s easy to reach in the refrigerator or on the kitchen table. This will make it easier for kids to grab a healthy choice.

Snack healthy on the go.

  • Take unsalted nuts and unsweetened dried fruits.
  • Grab fresh vegetables or fresh fruit.
  • Pack low-fat string cheese sticks.
  • Use small reusable containers or baggies to take snacks on the go.

Set the rules.

  • Teach your kids to ask before they help themselves to snacks.
  • Eat snacks at the table or in the kitchen, not in front of the TV or computer.
  • Serve snacks like pretzels or popcorn in a bowl. Don’t let kids snack directly out of the bag or box.
  • Drink water, milk (fat-free or low-fat), or 100% juice instead of soda or fruit-flavored drinks. Kids can drink up to ½ cup or 1 cup of juice a day, depending on how old they are.

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