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Extension > Live Healthy, Live Well > Give Your Kids Healthy and Tasty Snacks

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Give Your Kids Healthy and Tasty Snacks

By Beth Labenz, SNAP-Ed Educator — Health and Nutrition

Sometimes parents hear the words “snack foods” and think of expensive, sugary, fattening, or salty treats that aren’t needed for a healthy diet. But giving your child healthy, filling school-day snacks that also taste good is easy — and cheaper than you think!

Besides being low in calories and full of fiber and vitamins, fruits and vegetables cost less than typical unhealthy snacks. For example, the average cost of a serving of fruit is 25 cents, while a single serving bag of chips or a candy bar can cost 69 to 80 cents. Wash, slice, and bag veggies and fruit in individual portions, and then toss one or more into your children’s school lunch boxes or backpacks on busy mornings when time is short.

Low-fat dairy foods such as yogurt and cheese sticks can be purchased in ready-to- eat portions that make healthy, filling, tasty snacks. Yogurt and cheese are packed with calcium, which is great for growing bones. Buy yogurt with the least amount of sugar.

Wrap high-protein, low-fat, low-sodium deli meat around a cheese stick for a tasty, filling snack during the school day. Cheese slices and apple wedges also make a flavorful, protein-filled snack. Or try hard boiled eggs or unsalted nuts.

Snack time is a great time to get whole grains into your child’s daily diet. Combine cheese or deli meat with whole-wheat bread, whole-grain pita pockets, and whole-wheat crackers for snacks filled with protein and whole grains.

Regular soft drinks are high in calories and sugar with no nutritional benefits. Avoid sugary soft drinks and give kids water or low-fat milk for snack breaks instead, or add sparking water to 100 percent fruit juice for a bubbly treat.

For more information, see the following websites:

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