With the kids at home for the summer it's a good idea to have some healthy snacks on hand.
Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, Chrissy Barth, owner of Live Breathe Nutrition, says snacking is not a bad word if you incorporate some healthy options.
Barth goes on to say snacking is actually a good thing, it can help maintain blood sugar levels, increase metabolism, and prevent overeating at the next meal.
That begs the question, what makes a good healthy snack? Barth says you should be looking for a mix of carbohydrates and lean protein for sustainable energy.
And try to keep the calories between 100 and 200 calories for children 15 and under, older kids will need more. Barth says a good rule of thumb is to keep the snacks to approximately half the calories of a meal.
According to Barth, kids are getting 25 percent of their total daily calories from snacks, so it is important to have healthy foods on hand.
If you are prepared and plan ahead you can make sure there are great tasting snacks at your home for your entire family to enjoy.
Some of Barth's favorite options include:
· Veggies, mini pitas/baked chips and dips (i.e. hummus, natural nut butters; bean)
· Home made trail mix
· Greek Yogurt
· Mini bagels with fillings
· Granola bars / Fruit and Nut Bars (i.e. Kind Bars; Kashi Bars)
· Go packs of pre-prepped snack options
· Apple slices with almond butter, rolled in grape nuts or granola
· Pudding with graham crackers
· Cottage Cheese Doubles
· Whole grain cookies (i.e. Fig cookies; Kashi's TLC) with milk
· Laughing Cow cheese or string cheese with crackers
It is also important to keep your children hydrated. As always, water is great, but if you want to mix things up Barth suggests sports beverages like low-fat chocolate milk, and glucose-electrolyte solutions such as Powerade Play and fruit smoothies.
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