Kids snacks seem to get a bad rap. Typically, we think chips, crackers, and candy bars, but it doesn't have to be this way. Pediatric Registered Dietitian Jennifer Willoughby says the best snacks combine two things.
"The important part of snacking is that it pairs a protein with a carbohydrate. You want the carbohydrate to fuel yourself and you want the protein to keep you full," said Willoughby, who's with Cleveland Clinic Children's.
She says pairing a piece of fruit with some peanut butter is a great snack that puts together a protein and a carbohydrate. She says you can also combine a vegetable with something like hummus, to dip them in.
Dried fruit is also a great option. It's easy to eat and provides many of the same nutrients as fresh fruit.
Willoughby says low-fat greek yogurt is great for dipping, but can stand alone as a snack, too.
A trail-mix with some dark chocolate and raisins will work, or Willoughby says you can really think out of the box.
"You can even do a bowl of cereal with non-fat milk. You can do a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter. That would be another good option. It doesn't have to be a fruit or vegetable, but those are always the easiest, healthiest choices," she explained.
Willoughby also says to keep portions under control. Snacks are meant to be small, something to tide your child over to lunch or dinner.
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