How to Help Children Make Healthy Snack Choices

Move to the Groove aims to provide students with information about good nutrition and the value of healthy food choices. This starts with the parents!  Many times, kids don’t get the chance to make good choices…the food that is sent with kids for lunch, as snacks, or as part of a birthday goodie bag are low in nutrients.

Since more than 75% of Americans do not consume the recommended 5 or more fruits and vegetables in a day, fresh fruit or vegetables is always a great snack choice!

Parents, pack a smart goodie bag! As an alternative to birthday snacks and candy, parents can pack party favors, pencils, stickers or a healthier treat. For classroom celebrations, if items such as cookies are going to be present, ensure that healthier options like fruits and vegetables are available as well. Don’t forget to be aware that many students have allergies or medical conditions that require careful attention to the foods offered. Fortunately, there are no fruits and vegetables on the top 10 list of most allergenic foods! Nuts, however, do not make the “top 10” list. Stay away from nuts!

Here are the best snack choices for your students and children:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Raw vegetables
  • Unsweetened packaged fruit (i.e. applesauce, etc)
  • Dried fruit (NOT fruit roll-ups or fruit snacks)

Some other great healthy alternatives are:

  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt with fruit
  • Fat-free or low-fat cheese, soy cheese
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Trail mix (nuts, dried fruit, dry cereal, seeds)
  • Whole grain bagel, ½ serving
  • Whole grain crackers (brands containing no trans fats)
  • Whole wheat pita triangles
  • Low-fat bran muffin

Note: Peanut butter could be added to any whole grain food

Happy snacking!

For further information on food allergies, please refer to www.foodallergy.org.

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