Keeps kids from snacking in front of TV

Published On: Feb 05 2014 06:42:59 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 05 2014 07:40:00 AM EST

Location is everything, even when it comes to snacking. Carrie Gonzales,  a pediatric registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Children's, says one place we should rarely let our kids snack is in front of the television.

"It's mindless eating," Gonzales warned. "You're not paying attention while the TV is on, so you may be going in and taking more without paying attention that you're doing that."

Gonzales says studies have shown we can take in an extra 250 calories or more while snacking in front of the TV. But if you're planning a "family movie night", or allowing your kids to snack while watching their favorite show, try healthier snacks and present them differently. You can creatively cut them up, or put them on a stick.

"It is amazing how presentation can be everything with kids," she said. "So, a kid may not eat a whole apple, but you slice that up and put it on a plate and maybe a side of peanut butter and you'll see that they'll eat the whole thing."

Gonzales says to never let your kids grab a bag of snacks and sit down with them because they're almost guaranteed to eat too much.  Always have them put some in a bowl.