Snacks are important for children. Research has shown that children snack on average three times a day, accounting for almost 1/3 of their daily calories.
Parents can help children make the most of these eating opportunities by thinking of snacks as mini-meals. Stock the refrigerator and pantry with nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups and try not to keep foods like sweets, chips and other salty snacks in the house. Plan and prepare snacks ahead of time for younger children. For older children, designate a special snack spot in the refrigerator and in the cupboard. Keep these spots stocked with healthy snack items from all the food groups and keep fruit on the counter where kids can help themselves.
It is also a good idea to keep snack time in the kitchen rather than in front of the television or while doing other activities. By focusing on the snack itself, children avoid mindless eating and develop healthier habits.
Check out these healthy snack recipes for kids. Many are quick and portable, making them perfect for healthy eating at school and home. And remember, serve these kid-friendly healthy snacks far enough from mealtimes so that kids’ appetites aren’t spoiled!