Help Your Kids Snack Smarter

Author: Elizabeth M. Ward, MS, RD

Kids are snacking more than ever, and snacks should count toward good nutrition, not against it. Snacking is good for children, especially younger kids with smaller tummies who may not eat a lot at meals. But when calories from snacks aren’t balanced by physical activity, an unhealthy weight could be the result.

The best snacks fill in small nutrition gaps and feature foods found in healthy meals, such as low-fat dairy foods, fruit, vegetables and whole grains.  Think of snacks as mini-meals, not meal-wreckers. Save sugary drinks and treats, like cookies, candy and snack chips, for occasional treats.

You don’t have to worry what children will eat at their next meal when you offer healthy snacks that feature foods with protein and carbohydrates. Serve younger children smaller portions.  Here are some snack suggestions:

  • Fruit smoothie and whole wheat crackers
  • Low-fat vanilla yogurt with sliced fruit for dipping
  • Hummus and yellow/red pepper strips

More about the author:

Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD:

Served as a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics for nearly 10 years, and is a well-known and respected expert in family nutrition.