Can you believe that the kids are almost out of school for the summer? With kids in the house all summer, get ready for those constant snack attacks, followed by “mom (or dad)…there’s nothing good to eat.”
Just because its summer break doesn’t mean we should take a vacation from healthy eating. Having easy and nutritious snacks on hand is important for keeping those growing appetites in check.
ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends using snacks to help children get the nutrients they need to grow and maintain a healthy weight, but to limit sweets and sugary beverages to reduce excess calories that could lead to an unhealthy weight.
Follow these great ideas for snacks that are sure to please this summer:
- Save time by slicing veggies. Store veggies in the refrigerator and have tasty dips ready-to-go, such as hummus or low-fat dips (or even yogurt or peanut butter).
- Mix it up. For older kids, mix dried fruit with unsalted nuts and popcorn to make a great homemade trail mix. Also try blending low-fat yogurt with 100% fruit juice and frozen fruit for a refreshing and nutritious smoothie.
- Fruits are quick and easy. Fresh, frozen, dried, or canned fruits can be easy options that need little preparation.
- Nibble on lean protein. Choose foods such as low-sodium deli meats and cheeses, unsalted nuts, or eggs. Try pairing deli meat with apple wedges in a whole wheat tortilla wrap.
Check out Snack Tips for Parents at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet24MyPlateSnackTipsforParents.pdf for more great ideas and the 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series from ChooseMyPlate.gov for tips on a wide variety of nutrition and healthy lifestyle topics.
Amy Mullins is a Registered Dietitian and Family and Consumer Sciences Agent II with UF/IFAS Leon County Extension. If you have additional questions about nutrition, contact Amy at email@example.com.