Friday, March 28, 2008

What consists of an appropriate snack?

This article has been adapted from The Herald News
"Snack on this:Healthy alternatives for kids to munch on"
By Gina Lombardi

A very important distinction in food is between a treat and a snack...

Foods like cookies, ice cream, candy, and chips often come to mind when we think of snacks, however they are very clearly treats, because these types of foods are generally loaded with sugar and/or fat, contain lots of calories and very little nutrients.

Treats are foods to be eaten only once in a while — not every day!

Our eating habits begin to form when we are children and, for most of us, habits are very hard to break! As a parent you have the power to instill healthy eating habits in your children by offering them healthy foods every day and limiting high fat/high sugar foods to special occasions. Explain to your children that SNACKS will help their bodies to grow strong and healthy and that TREATS do not.

Peaceful Playgrounds, knows that a combination of both exercise AND NUTRITION is the way to a healthy happy mind and body.

Some SNACK ideas:

½ cup fresh or canned fruit (in natural juice, no sugar added)*
½ slice of reduced fat cheese
4-6 oz. yogurt
A handful of whole grain crackers
A handful of dry low-sugar cereal
A slice of whole grain bread or toast, ½ whole grain English muffin, or a whole grain waffle
A very small portion of leftovers from dinner the night before.
(Fruit should be cut into small pieces (grapes in quarter sections) for children under 3. Avoid giving hard, round, sticky or slippery foods to children under 3 as they pose a choking hazard.)
Age 3 and older:
½ cup baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, celery sticks, jicama and/or pepper slices with 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt, peanut butter, low fat dressing, or hummus for dipping
A handful of nuts
1 slice of whole grain bread or toast with peanut butter
2 cups of air-popped popcorn
¼ cup sunflower seeds
Try making a smoothie by blending yogurt, frozen fruit, low fat milk or 100 percent juice, a little honey and a pinch of cinnamon!