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Snacking RIGHT in the New School Year

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Snacking Right in the New School Year

by Rhonda Dumas

CF-L1 Trainer, CF Kids Trainer, NASM certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist

The beginning of the new school year is the perfect time to start new habits. We make sure that our children are getting enough sleep, that they have a dedicated homework time, that they take care of their hygiene nightly. How many of you make sure you start your kids off right with healthy eating habits? After all, if we want our children to grow up and make wise food choices as adults, we need to establish healthy, wise choices early!

Snacks can play an important role in managing kids’ hunger and
boosting nutrition and helping to ward off hunger before the next meal. Snacks can keep your children from becoming cranky and they can keep kids from overeating. If you have picky eaters, snacks can assure that kids are getting the required daily nutrients.

Involving children in choices of snacks can help them to buy in. Take
them to the grocery store and let them help to choose ingredients. Have them to help prepare healthy, homemade snacks. This creates a warm and welcoming environment in the kitchen and a place where kids will feel comfortable in the future. Here are some ideas for healthy snacks for all ages:
Toddlers
● low-sugar, whole-grain breakfast cereals
● cut-up fruit (if pieces are small and soft enough to avoid choking)
● graham crackers
● cheese slices cut into fun shapes
● applesauce
● Yogurt

Preschoolers
● cut-up fruit or applesauce
● Yogurt
● sliced or chopped veggies
● whole-grain crackers topped with cheese
Elementary School Age
● low-sugar, whole-grain breakfast cereal with low-fat milk
● low-fat string cheese
● fruit smoothies made with low-fat milk or yogurt
● nuts and raisins
● whole-wheat pita slices, cut-up veggies, and hummus
● whole-grain pretzels
● fruit slices dipped in low-fat flavored yogurt

Teens
● veggie sticks with low-fat ranch dip or hummus
● low-fat granola bars
● fresh or dried fruit
● trail mix
● air-popped popcorn
● hard-boiled eggs