Smart Summer Snackin'

Summer is here. Kids are home. Vacations are planned. Road trips are on the schedule. Life is just about to get crazy busy. With schedules disrupted, it’s easy to let nutrition fly out the window. But there is no need to cut corners on your family’s health when there are so many great and nutritious snacks available at the local supermarket. Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and author of Eat Your Way to Happiness joined us with some ideas how to satisfy a snack craving and still eat well

A recent study found that kids are snacking, but mostly on junk...which accounts for up to 27% of their calorie intake and mostly from fat, sugar, and refined grains. That type of snacking will lead to weight gain, poor diet, or both.
 The number one rule for healthy snacking is - keep it simple. A nutritious snack must be convenient, i.e., it must be readily available, take little time to prepare, and taste great.
 Rule #2, consider snacks as part of your total diet. For example, you child needs at least 5, and preferably 9, servings of colorful fruits and vegetables and at least 3 servings of whole grain breads and cereals each day. Snacks are a perfect way to meet this quota.
 Rule #3, include at least two of the following grouping at any one snack and make one choice either fruits and vegetables or wholegrains.
1) fresh fruits and vegetables
2) wholegrains
3) nuts and seeds
4) nonfat milk products such as yogurt or cheese
5) cooked dried beans and peas
 Rule #4, minimally processed foods should outnumber highly processed snack items. Most commercial cookies, chips, and candy are high in fat, salt, or sugar. Even some of the new low-fat or high-fiber products, such as oven-baked potato chips or chewy fruit roll-ups, don't compare nutritionally to their more wholesome counterparts, such as a baked potato or an orange.
 Rule #5, listen to your body and snack only when you're hungry.


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