Healthy Snacks: Quick tips for parents

Healthy Snacks: Quick tips for parents

Snacks don't need to be unhealthy. There are plenty of healthy options for snacks that give your kids important nutrients and help control 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 twist!
  • Mix air-popped popcorn with dried fruit and unsalted nuts for homemade trail mix. Eat with fat-free or low-fat milk.
  • Dip tortilla chips in salsa. Look for chips with less sodium.
  • Make a mini pizza. Put spaghetti sauce, chopped vegetables, and low-fat shredded cheese on half of a whole-wheat English muffin and melt it in the microwave or oven.
  • Keep fresh fruit in a place that’s easy to reach in the refrigerator or on the 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.
  • 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.