- Plan snacks as a part of the day's food plan.
- When shopping, let children help pick out fruits, vegetables, and cheeses for snacks. They will be more interested in eating these foods if they have been involved in selecting them.
- Set aside a "snack spot" in the refrigerator and cupboard; keep it stocked with nutritious ready-to-eat snacks.
- Offer snacks at regular times, such as midmorning and mid-afternoon. Don't let children nibble constantly during the day.
- Avoid high sugar, fatty and salty snacks, such as candy and soda pop.
- Snacks are a good way to introduce new foods. Include a game or activity to learn about the new food and let the child help fix it.
- Plan snacks to help meet the suggested number of servings per day from the Food Guide Pyramid: 6 to 11 servings from the breads, cereal, rice and pasta group; 3 to 5 servings from the vegetable group; 2 to 4 servings from the fruit group; 2 to 3 servings from the milk, cheese and yogurt group; and 2 to 3 servings meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and dry beans group.
- Never offer food as a reward for good behavior.
Simple Healthy Snack Ideas
- Raw vegetables, such as celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green pepper, green beans, cucumbers, mushrooms or zucchini may be served with a low fat dip.
- Fresh fruit in season: cut in slices or halves, such as apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, grapefruit, grapes, melons, pears, plums or strawberries.
- Low fat quick breads and muffins, such as pumpkin, zucchini, banana or bran.
- Non-sugared cereals, snack mixes made with popcorn and whole grain cereal.
- Low fat yogurt with fresh, frozen or canned fruit.
- Shakes with low fat milk or yogurt and fruit.
- Unsweetened fruit juices.
- Pyramid Tortilla Recipe
Here is an easy to do snack. For each person you will need:
1 8-inch tortilla
2 ounces thin sliced turkey or ham
2 Tablespoons shredded cheese
1/4 cup shredded lettuce
1 Tablespoon raisins
Low fat mayonnaise, cream cheese, or margarine
- Give each person a tortilla.
- Have them spread with mayonnaise, margarine or cream cheese.
- Then layer on the meat, cheese, lettuce and raisins.
- Roll up and enjoy.
- This snack could also be made using a slice of bread or an English muffin.