Summer typically means kids will be spending more time around the house. Idle time sometimes means kids will be poking around the kitchen in hopes of finding a quick and easy snack-often an unhealthy one.
To help keep kids healthy, be sure to keep the refrigerator and pantry stocked with nutritious snacks that kids will enjoy. Start with a wide range of choices from the milk, fruit, vegetable and grains food groups.
“Smart snacking is a great way to meet nutrient requirements that may be missed at mealtime,” said Andrea Garen, a registered dietitian at Dairy Council of California. “If chosen carefully, snacks can promote good health without adding too many calories.”
Garen adds that encouraging outside play, a refreshing dip in the pool and other physical activities are also part of the equation to keep kids healthy.
Some snacking tips that make a parent’s job easier:
- Plan ahead and buy healthy snacks when you grocery shop for the week.
- Pre-portion your child’s snacks into small plastic bags to grab on the go.
- Keep healthy snacks in a specific spot in your refrigerator or cupboard, and let kids help themselves.
- Combine snacks from two or more food groups, like raspberry yogurt, low-fat chocolate milk and a banana in a blender for a cool, refreshing treat.
The Dairy Council of California’s meal-planning Web site (www.mealsmatter.org) contains hundreds of free and easy-to-make, kid-friendly recipe ideas, including the Apple Bagel Sandwich. Parents can try this and hundreds of other great-tasting recipes and snack ideas to help their children stay healthy during summer.
Healthy Chocolate Milkshake
1 cup almond milk
2 frozen bananas
2 tablespoons raw cacao
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
Blend and enjoy!
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