Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Benefits of Healthy Snacking

Make sure you eat enough.  What?

I know that on the news the last few days there have been reports about how much kids are snacking and how it is affecting the rising childhood obesity problem we have in the US.  I don't really have a problem with snacking.  In fact, snacking between meals is an important part of keeping your metabolism revved up.  I think the problem we have is what we are snacking on and the kinds of snacks we are providing for our children.

I know for myself, if I don't have a light healthy snack between breakfast and lunch and then again between lunch and dinner - I tend to over eat at meal time, and this is even after I have eaten as much preparing the meal as I do when I sit down to eat the actual meal.  Do you know what I mean?  That topic I have had on my mind lately and is for a later post!

What we need to be aware of is the kind of snacks we choose for ourselves and our children.  I keep my refrigerator stocked with good, healthy snacks:

  • Bananas
  • All natural low fat yogurt - I like Stonyfield Farms (most other brands contain either artificial sweeteners, tons of fat, or High Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • Grapes (Keep them washed and ready to eat in a bowl)
  • Carrots Sticks (follow the grapes comment)
  • Apples
  • All Natural Peanut Butter (I've said it before - Elvis had the idea with peanut butter and bananas - just keep your portions under control)
  • Almonds - Again portion is the key - just a handful
For my kids, they eat almost all of the snacks I mentioned above.  For school my older son only wants a Clif Kids Z Bar, which is not a bad choice but my younger son wants a variety of different snacks throughout the week.  He likes Cheddar Bunnies, Cuties mixed with craisins, homemade healthy muffins (he doesn't get those as often), etc.

I think the important point here is that if we are eating an overall healthy diet, healthy snacking is OK.  Sending your kids to school with packaged, highly processed foods loaded with sugar for snack is probably not a good idea and really upsets the teachers.  Make lots of healthy options available to your kids, model the behavior, and you will be setting them up for a life time of good choices - and hopefully good health too. 

1 comment:

  1. Great snack ideas. I've been trying to eat a small snack between lunch and breakfast and then again one sometime between lunch and dinner. It really has helped me feel satiated all day.