I recently answered the following questions about healthy snacking from Collective Parenting Magazine. Stay tuned for the full article.
Healthy snacks can help benefit energy levels, attitude and weight management in children. If a child or teen consumes processed snacks full of empty calories, especially from sugar or flour, they can have fluctuations in insulin levels ending up with a crash, leaving them feeling tired at school or their practices.
What makes a healthy snack?
Having a snack rich in antioxidants, fiber, protein and/or healthy fats will help them have more steady energy levels, their ability to focus will improve in both school and extracurricular activities and their metabolism will be working more efficiently so weight management will not be as much of an issue.
Which specific healthy snacks do you recommend?
Raw vegetables and/or fruits with a healthy dip like guacamole, hummus, or an all-natural nut butter like sunflower butter, almond butter or peanut butter, if there are no peanut allergies.
Smoothies with yogurt, fruit, and even vegetables like spinach, or kale
Homemade trail mix with nuts, seeds, freeze dried fruit (no sugar added) and even dark chocolate chips.
Which snacks should be avoided, such as chips, fruit punch, etc.?
Sugary beverages like juice, soda, sports drinks, and sweet teas should be avoided. The amount of sugar in all of the beverages is too much. If your child will not drink plain water, have them flavor it will fresh fruit and let it sit overnight, use berries, limes, oranges, cucumbers, basil, mint, etc. Also avoid snacks that have a long shelf life like cookies, chips, crackers, pastries, etc. If they still would like a crunch go for a snack in the healthy food isle like gluten free cheese puffs, kale chips, etc. Avoid items that list high fructose corn syrup, dye, or hydrogenated oils under the ingredient list.
Dr. Kantor’s greatly anticipated new children’s book, The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice, is now available. Be sure to order this highly reviewed book, filled with healthy living tips for the whole family. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.