It’s easy to make poor snack choices when it seems that the most convenient foods come prepackaged and processed and taste good. Lynice Anderson, registered dietitian, provides some tips on making nutritious snack alternatives more easily accessible and moderating intake of less healthy choices.
Food choices can certainly contribute to the increased number of children who are currently overweight and even obese. With more meals being eaten away from home, convenience foods are a way of life for many families. While chips and cookies are a favorite snack food choice (and really who doesn’t like chips or cookies?), they don’t always provide the nutrition necessary for a balanced diet.
Support a Healthy Family With Nutritious Snack Alternatives
All foods can be part of a healthy diet but it can be a challenge to figure out how to increase variety. Here are some tips to help you keep your family on the road to good health when it comes to those snack choices:
- Make healthy snack options available. Research has shown that children are more likely to choose fruits, healthy crackers and other low fat snacks if that is what is in the cupboard/fridge.
- If you serve chips or cookies as a snack or as part of a meal, serve one portion and put the bag away. Add cut-up fruits and veggies for additional munchies.
- If packing lunches, make small bags of baked chips or cookies a treat rather than a regularly packed item. Fruit, yogurt, pudding and even homemade muffins are all great additions.
- If servings cannot be “limited” don’t buy unhealthy snack foods in bulk.
- Limit “mindless” snacking. Children and adults are more likely to keep eating from a large bag or bowl while playing computer/video games, watching TV, etc.
Lynice Anderson, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Health Improvement Programs Supervisor