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Black-childrenForming a smart snacking habit is easier if you don’t start with bad habit. So, getting your children off to a good start with healthy snacking is a behavior that will stick with them for a lifetime.

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Here are some great snack tips:

  • Keep portions small to avoid weight gain.
  • Pre-portion your child’s snacks into small plastic bags to grab on the go or put a snack-sized serving on a plate.
  • Plan ahead when you buy healthy snacks at the supermarket – you will make healthier choices and will save money by resisting impulse purchases.
  • Provide kids healthy snack choices and make the choices you offer reasonably nutritious and delicious – calcium-rich pudding, chocolate milk, granola bars, graham crackers with milk, peanut butter on crackers, for example.
  • For older children, designate an area in your refrigerator or cupboard for healthy snacks that you have selected and your kids like – let them help themselves without having to ask for permission.
  • Combine snacks from at least two food groups, like a protein (cheese, milk, yogurt, peanut butter, hummus) and a carbohydrate (crackers, pretzels, fruit, vegetables), to pack more nutrients into your child’s diets – it will be more filling and will tide them over until their next meal. Adding 1% or skim milk to cereal and graham crackers or peanut butter to crackers or fruit is an easy way to add calcium and protein to an otherwise carbohydrate-only snack.

If chosen carefully, healthy snacks can promote good health by supplying nutrients without adding too many calories.

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