7 Suggestions for Smart Snacking

EVENT: Sports Nutrition Workshop on Healthy Snacks and Drinks for Young Athletes  
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
TIME: Tuesday at 6:30pm on April 4, 2017 (link to MB event)
            If you are focused on your family’s health, you may be trying to reduce or revamp your children’s snacks.  Snacking over the years has increased- thirty years ago kids ate roughly 250 calories a day between meals.  Now, kids eat about 500 calories a day between meals.  However, not all snacks are created equal, and you can increase your family’s health without cutting out all snacks.  Here are seven snack suggestions to keep in mind.
1.      Add protein and fiber.  Instead of adding empty calories, use snacks to help your kids stay focused on school, homework and extracurricular activities.  Snacks like an ounce of nuts and a piece of fruit will provide lasting energy and add nutrition.
2.      Set up a snack schedule.  Offer meals and snacks at predictable times each day.  This will prevent mindless all day eating and snacking too close to a meal.  Eating every three to four hours will actually help kids and teens achieve and sustain a healthy weight. 
3.      Encourage mindfulness.  Apply the same rules to snacks as you do to meals.  Turn off the TV, video games and computers and eat mindfully.
4.      Increase nutrients. Use snack time as an opportunity to add nutrient-dense foods that do not often make an appearance at meals.  Good examples are fruit with nut butter or low fat cheese, yogurt or vegetables with salsa or hummus.  Any opportunity to add in produce is beneficial!
5.      Prepare.  Planning ahead will increase the chances that you have healthy snacks on hand when your kids get hungry.  While you do want to encourage mindful healthy eating, having a small healthy snack prepared is always preferable to making an emergency fast food stop.
6.      Proper portions.  Smaller kids need smaller portions, but also need at least two snacks and three meals a day.  Older kids need three meals and at least one snack a day, depending on activity level. 
7.      Snack ideas.  Here are some healthy ideas to try!         
                                    •low-fat cheese and apple slices
                                    •low-fat yogurt, fruit and nuts
                                    •celery sticks with almond butter
                                    •baked tortilla chips with salsa
                                    •reduced-sodium sliced turkey with whole-wheat tortilla
            Have fun with healthy snacking, and if you need further ideas, try speaking with a registered dietitian nutritionist to find a meal plan that works for the whole family. 
Come Check out our first Sports Nutrition Workshop on Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30pm!! 
Andrea Berez MS, RD, CSP
Kara Unal JD, RYT
KareBoost Health